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University of California Berkeley 

2 ,- 




DIED, 19iH JULY 1887. 


following reminiscences of URIEL CROCKER 
were taken down from his lips by members of 
his family in the later years of his life, and have been 
written out by his oldest son in order to preserve for 
his father's descendants the stories that their ances- 
tor loved to tell of the events of his youth and middle 
age, that thereby those descendants may gain some 
idea, though an inadequate one, of the life and char- 
acter of their ancestor, of the habits and manners of 
the time in which he lived, and of the honest and 
untiring labor and the active and clear-sighted intelli- 
gence by the aid of which he accumulated the prop- 
erty which he hoped would remain through many 
generations in the possession of his descendants to 
ease and cheer their journey through life. 

BOSTON, June, 1891. 



painted in 1827 by James Frothingham 12 

MRS. CROCKER AND HER ELDEST Sox. From a portrait 

painted in 1838 by James Frothingham 14 

COL. JONATHAN GLOVER. From an original in pastel . . 18 


From an original in pastel 20 


photograph taken in 1890 by Edgar Crocker .... 22 


type. 28 


from a small photograph 32 


photograph by James Notman . 38 


a photograph taken in 1886 by James Notman ... 42 

WAS BORN. From a photograph taken In 1890 by his 
grandson, Edgar Crocker 48 



CROCKER RESIDED FROM 1830 to 1847. From a photo- 
graph taken in 1890 by his grandson, Edgar Crocker . 54 

MR. CROCKER RESIDED FROM 1847 to 1885. From a 
photograph taken in 1885. The house is the one next 
above that on the steps of which two ladies are standing 60 

TWO YEARS OF HIS LIFE. From a photograph taken 
in 1890 by his grandson, Edgar Crocker * 66 

From a miniature on ivory painted in 1845 by Alonzo 
Hartwell 120 

From a miniature on ivory painted in 1845 by Alonzo 
Hartwell 122 





MY father, URIEL CROCKER, was born in Barnstable 
in 1768. When a young man he came to Bos- 
ton and there learned the trade of a hatter from 
Joseph Eaton, a relative of whom, Mary Eaton, the 
daughter of Israel Eaton, of Marblehead, he married 
for his first wife. After his marriage he went to 
Marblehead to live. By this wife he had one child, 
who lived but a short time, and his wife herself died 
within a year after their marriage. 

My mother, who was my father's second wife, was 
Mary James, the daughter and only child of Cap- 
tain Richard James, of Marblehead. My father and 
mother were married in February, 1792, and they 
had eight children. Of these, Richard James, who 
died early, and Mary were older than myself ; and 
the younger ones were Deborah (who married Wil- 
liam Phillips, of Lynn), Richard James, Josiah, Abi- 
gail, Francis Boardman, and Elizabeth James, the 
last two of whom died in infancy. My father died 


April 12, 1813, when forty-five years of age. My 
mother died August 27, 1811, when thirty-seven years 
of age. 

My father's father was JOSIAH CROCKER of Barn- 
stable, who was born Dec. 30, 1744, and graduated 
at Harvard College in 1765. On October 6, in the 
year of his graduation, he married Deborah Davis, 
a daughter of Daniel Davis, Judge of Probate for 
Barnstable County. This Deborah Davis was a half 
sister of Daniel Davis, Solicitor-General of Massachu- 
setts. After my grandfather's death, which occurred 
on May 4, 1780, when he was thirty-five years of 
age, his widow married Benjamin Gorham. Josiah 
Crocker's children were, besides my father, Deborah, 
who married John Lothrop, Mehitable, who married 
Joseph Parker, Josiah, who died young, and Robert, 
who was afterwards a brass worker on Union Street, 
Boston, and who left no descendants. 

My grandfather was a school-teacher in Barnstable. 
He was a great admirer of Milton's " Paradise Lost," 
from which book he took the name of Uriel, 1 which 
he gave to my father. In 1775 or 1776 he wrote 
a pamphlet, entitled an " Indian Dream, drempt on 
Cape Cod," which was intended as a satire upon the 
leading men of the county, particularly upon the jus- 
tices of the Court of Common Sessions. He caused 

1 Mr. Crocker always pronounced his own name U-rl'-el, but 
in " Paradise Lost " the pronunciation U'-ri-el is evidently called 
for by the metre. See Paradise Lost, book iii., lines 648, 654, and 
690; book iv., lines 555, 577, and 589. 


several hundred copies of this pamphlet to be printed 
in Boston ; and one night, after people had gone to 
bed, he and his sister distributed them through the 
town of Barnstable. They made a great sensation, 
but all efforts to discover the author were unavailing. 
His only confidant was his sister. I have endeav- 
ored to find a copy of this pamphlet, but without 

My great-grandfather, the father of Josiah Crocker, 
was CORNELIUS CROCKER, of Barnstable, known in his 
life-time as Nell Crocker. He was born March 23, 
1704, and lived in the old house in Barnstable that 
was recently occupied by Mrs. Scudder, the sister of 
Mr. Barney Davis. He married Lydia Jenkins, and 
his children, besides Josiah, were Joseph, Lydia (who 
married a Sturgis), Cornelius, and Sarah, who married 
Capt. David Lawrence. All of these, except the last, 
were older than my grandfather. My great-grand- 
father was a man of importance in Barnstable, and 
owned considerable property there. He died Dec. 
12, 1784, at the age of eighty. His wife, my great- 
grandmother, died Aug. 5, 1773, at the age of sixty- 

My great-grandfather was the great-grandson of 
WILLIAM and ALICE CROCKER, who were married in 
Scituate in 1636, and moved to Barnstable in 1639. 
They were the ancestors of the numerous Crockers 
who have lived in and near that town, or, originat- 
ing there, have scattered themselves throughout the 
United States. William Crocker, together with his 


brother John, who left no descendants, probably came 
to this country in 1634, from the neighborhood of 
Exeter, in Devonshire, England, where the Crockers 
were an old English family, if we may believe an old 
saw, which has been preserved, to this effect, 

" The Croker, Crewys, and Copplestone, 
When the Conqueror came were at home." 1 

My mother's father, RICHARD JAMES, was a sea 
captain, and my mother was his only child. He died 
in 1832, aged about ninety, on the day before that on 
which my oldest son was born. His mother, whose 
maiden name was Nimblet, lived to the age of ninety- 
eight. I recollect her very well. She was a great 
story-teller, and was well acquainted with the Bible. 
She used to wear a red riding-hood and a red cloak, 
and was always going out visiting. The wife of 
Captain James was Mary, a daughter of Col. Jona- 
than Glover. 

In the time of the war of the Revolution Capt. 
James was commissioned by the Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts to go to Martinique to get firearms, 
powder, and saltpetre, taking out a load of lumber. 
I have his original commission, and also a statement 
of his voyage, made out and sworn to by him with 
the purpose, I think, of obtaining a pension. I ob- 

1 The name " Crocker " probably signified originally a maker 
of crocks. The word " crock " is now almost out of use, but is 
still preserved in " crockery." In the same way the name " Pot- 
ter " signified a maker of pots, " pottery " being the corresponding 
word to " crockery." 


tained these papers from the files at Washington, 
having been allowed to take them by Franklin Pierce, 
when he was President. One of Captain James's ves- 
sels was named the " Union," another the " Cham- 
pion," and another the " Comte d'Estaing." On his 
first voyage on this business he was chased by the 
British and forced to run his vessel ashore at Prov- 
incetown. The British sent their boats to take pos- 
session of the vessel, but he had left a candle burning 
in the cabin, and they were afraid to board the vessel, 
thinking that the light which they saw might be that 
of a slow match that was to blow the vessel up. 
Captain James went to Truro and got a cannon and 
drove the British away, and as the vessel had gone 
ashore at low tide, she afterwards floated off when 
the tide rose, and he got her safely into Boston. On 
another occasion Captain James was chased into 
Chesapeake Bay, and again was compelled to run his 
vessel ashore, but again he saved his cargo. 

When in Philadelphia, after the voyage last men- 
tioned, he bought a horse for the purpose of riding 
him to Boston. After he bought the horse, he took 
him out to try him, and happened to get upon a race 
course, where, as the horse had been trained for rac- 
ing, he started off around the track and ran away, 
going round the course three times with the Captain 
clinging to his neck. Captain James afterwards rode 
this horse to Boston, stopping at West Point to see 
General Glover, and seeing Washington also. I have 
often ridden behind that horse. My grandfather often 


took me up to Boston with him in the old chaise. 
The horse used to take us up in two hours. At every 
little hill my grandfather would say to me, " Come, 
boy, get out and stretch your legs." 

On another voyage, when carrying a cargo of lum- 
ber, my grandfather was taken by the British and 
carried into Plymouth, England. His crew were put 
into prison, but he obtained permission to go to Paris. 
There he became acquainted with Benjamin Franklin 
and John Adams. John Quincy Adams, then less 
than twenty years old, was there as a clerk to his 
father. Franklin and Adams invited Captain James 
to dine with them every Friday, and at one of these 
dinners he became acquainted with a Mr. Langdon, 1 
of Portsmouth, N. H.. a man of considerable wealth, 
who wished to get home to America. Captain James 
was finally employed by this Mr. Langdon to go to 
Nantes and build a vessel to take him home. He 
had the vessel built, and manned and victualled her. 
A place, known only to himself and to Mr. Langdon, 
was built under the cabin floor to put bars of gold in. 
The voyage was a successful one and they arrived 
safely in Marblehead harbor. After that time Mr. 
Langdon and Captain James were accustomed, about 
once in two years, to make each other visits lasting a 
week or two. On this voyage Captain James brought 
home with him a Frenchman, who afterwards lived 
with him for many years as a cook. 

i This was probably Woodbury Langdon, a brother of John 
Langdon, who was at one time governor of New Hampshire. 


Captain James lost his property in the latter part 
of his life. He loaned money to his cousin, Benja- 
min Eaton, who was unable to repay it, and to Samuel 
Bartoll, who cheated him by giving him bad security. 
It was on an execution against Mr. Bartoll that he 
acquired title to " Bartoll's Head." so called, which I 
have recently given to the town of Marblehead for a 
public park, and which in honor of my gift has been 
named " Crocker Park." 

The father of my grandmother, Mary James, was 
JONATHAN GLOVER, who was born in Salem on June 
13, 1731, and who married Abigail Burnham on Oct. 
10, 1748. Abigail Burnham was the daughter of 
Job Burnham, of Ipswich (born 1680), who married 
Hannah Martin in 1719, and whose children were 
Abigail, Thomas, Edward, John, Robert, and Benja- 
min. An uncle of Abigail Burnham, one Benjamin 
Burnham, is said to have accumulated in India a 
large fortune which has been supposed by some to be 
waiting in the Bank of England for his heirs to come 
and claim it. Jonathan Glover was a colonel in the 
State militia, and a brother of Gen. John Glover, of 
Revolutionary fame. He had two other brothers, 
Samuel and Daniel. The old sword and the English 
fusee, now in my possession, belonged to Gen. John 
Glover, who gave them to my father, saying that he 
gave them to him as he was the only military man in 
the family. The sword was General Glover's dress 
sword, and the artist, Martin Milmore, copied it for 
the sword of the statue of General Glover that now 



stands in Commonwealth Avenue. The fusee was 
taken by General Glover from a British officer at the 
battle of Saratoga. The original lock of the gun was 
lost, and I had a new lock made for it. The old 
pastel portraits in my parlor are those of Jonathan 
Glover and of Abigail Burnham, his wife. 

Col. Jonathan Glover began life as a hatter, but he 
afterwards gave up that business and went into com- 
merce, in which he was very successful. He owned 
a wharf in Marblehead at the foot of what is now 
called State Street. Near this wharf Floyd Ireson 
was tarred and feathered. Colonel Glover owned 
vessels which sailed to the West India Islands and to 
Bilbao and other places in Spain. He owned a house 
in Marblehead on the street which led to his wharf, 
and he had another house about two miles from the 
centre of the town, where he resided in summer. At 
this place, which was on the road to Boston where 
the road to Salem branches off, he had a farm, and 
when I was a boy I frequently went to stay there. 
The house in the town is still standing. It was a 
large square house, about seventy feet from the street, 
with a beautiful lawn in front of it, and a walk up the 
middle of the lawn. At the present time a three- 
story wooden building stands on each side of the 
walk on what was formerly the lawn. Colonel Glover 
used to ride in a coach with a yellow body, drawn by 
two white horses. His coachman was a colored man 
named Cato, who was, I think, a slave. I can recollect 
riding in this coach. 


Colonel Glover married, for his second wife, a 
widow Greely, whose maiden name was Hitchborn, 
and who, before her first marriage, lived at the North 
End of Boston. Her first husband was a sea captain, 
and she was a sister of the second wife of General 

By her first husband she had six daughters, Nancy, 
who married Caleb Loring, the father of the late 
Charles Greely Loring, and who lived on Somerset 
Street in Boston, where Sleeper Hall now stands; 
Hannah, who married William Stevenson, the father 
of the late J. Thomas Stevenson ; l Fanny, who mar- 
ried first, Edward Loring, the father of Edward 
Greely Loring, who was Judge of Probate in Suffolk 
County, and afterwards Judge of the Court of Claims 
in Washington, and second, Thomas Curtis, the father 
of the late Charles P. Curtis, Thomas B. Curtis, and 
James F. Curtis ; 2 Isanna, who married Col. William 
R. Lee, of Salem ; and two others, Mary and Betsey, 
who never married. One of these unmarried daugh- 
ters at one time kept a school on Mt. Vernon Street, 

About the year 1800 Colonel Glover's wife induced 
him to come to Boston to live. His residence in Bos- 
ton was a house on the north side of Beacon Street 
just west of Somerset < Street. There were two large 
houses there, one on the corner of Somerset Street, 

1 J. Thomas Stevenson was the father of Gen. Robert H. 

2 James F. Curtis was the father of Gen. Greely S. Curtis. 


and the other, just west of that on the corner, was 
the house in which Colonel Glover lived, and in which 
he died in 1804. 

Colonel Glover had several children besides my 
grandmother. These were Tabitha, who married 
William Bartoll ; Eleanor, who married, first, Lewis 
Gilbert, and afterwards, a Mr. Skinner ; Hannah, who 
married a Mr. Gerry, and died leaving two children, 
Thomas and Elizabeth, who married a Mr. Blackler ; 
Abigail, who married Rev. Ebenezer Hubbard, who 
was the pastor of the church in Marblehead, and whose 
funeral I attended when I was a small boy. 1 She 
afterwards married Rev. Mr. Flint, and still later Rev. 
Cornelius Waters, both of whom, I think, lived in 
Ashby, Mass., where she died in 1834. There was 
also a son, Benjamin Stacey Glover, who married 
Tabitha Gerry, by whom he had three daughters, 
Tabitha, who married Samuel Curwen Ward, of Salem ; 
Abigail, who married a Mr. Robinson ; and Hannah, 
who died unmarried. Benjamin Stacey Glover gradu- 
ated at Harvard College in 1781. 

Colonel Glover at one time proposed to the town 
of Marblehead that he would build for it at his own 
expense a hospital on Cat (now called Lowell) Island, 

1 Three sons of Ebenezer and Abigail Hubbard were Rev. 
Ebenezer Hubbard of Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky, who 
died Sept. 2, 1858; Dr. Charles Hubbard, who was living in 
Hickman in December 1858, and Dr. John B. Hubbard, of Rush- 
ville, Illinois, who died in 1887. A grandson of the latter, Hub- 
bard Parker, graduated at Williams College in 1880, and was 
living in Muskegon, Michigan, in 1884. 


if the town would enforce quarantine regulations. 
The town accepted his offer, and the hospital was built 
and the quarantine enforced. But afterwards some 
of the people of the town, who had become dissatis- 
fied with the enforcement of the quarantine regula- 
tions, which sometimes kept their husbands, brothers, 
and sons detained for two or three weeks on the island 
in plain sight of their own dwellings, determined to 
retaliate upon Colonel Glover as the cause of the 

My grandmother told me that one evening, between 
nine and ten o'clock, a gentleman called and informed 
her father that some persons had met in a building 
near by and were disguising themselves as Indians 
with the intention of coming that night to destroy his 
house. Colonel Glover immediately sent his colored 
man, Cato, to ask his brother, General Glover, to come 
over. General Glover came, and, after hearing the 
story, asked his brother whether there were not in the 
rear of the house a couple of cannon which had be- 
longed to a vessel of his, and whether he had not 
some powder and balls. On being informed that he 
had all these things, General Glover said, " Well, Jon- 
athan, you need not trouble yourself about it, we will 
fix them." Then he told the women in the house to 
get every candle and candlestick that there was in 
that house and in his own. He placed the two cannon 
in the front hall, which was ten or twelve feet wide 
and extended through the middle of the house. He 
caused one cannon to be loaded with powder and rock 


salt and the other with powder and balls. My grand- 
mother told me that she went to General Glover and 
said, " Uncle John, we have got all the candlesticks 
and candles there are in both houses, but we have 
more candles than candlesticks." " Well, Mary," 
said he, " have n't you some turnips down cellar ? " 
On being told that there were some there, he said, 
" I want you to get enough for all the candles you 
have, and to dig holes in them for the candles, for I 
want to make this hall a blaze of light." Everything 
having been prepared, the cannons loaded, and the 
candles lighted, he said, " Now, girls, I want you all 
to clear out of this house, for I do not want to have 
a petticoat here, as there may be unpleasant work 
before morning." Accordingly the women left and 
went to General Glover's house. At about half-past 
eleven o'clock the people were heard coming up the 
walk, and when they had come about one-third of the 
way up, General Glover ordered the front door to be 
thrown open, and, standing with a blazing torch ready 
to touch off the cannon, which had been aimed down 
the walk, he commanded the mob, in his military 
style, to halt, or they were dead men. They did halt, 
and consequently there were no dead men, and there 
was no further trouble. 

Three days after the battle of Bunker Hill, Gen. 
John Glover marched his regiment of one thousand 
men from Marblehead to Cambridge. Jonathan Glo- 
ver armed, equipped, and fed a large part of these 
men at his own expense. This was refunded to him 


by the town after the war. General Glover's head- 
quarters at Cambridge were in the house known as 
" Washington's Headquarters," but the house was 
afterwards given up by him to Washington. I believe 
that after the battle of Saratoga he marched to Cam- 
bridge the Hessian troops that were taken prisoners, 
and again occupied the same house. These Hessians 
were quartered on the land in front of Rev. Dr. Low- 
ell's house, where Mr. Gardner Greene Hubbard and 
others now reside. My grandfather James visited 
General Glover when he was living in that house, and 
one afternoon, when I was taking my grandfather to 
drive, he pointed out the house, and said he had 
stayed there over a week. 

Gen. John Glover was originally a shoemaker, and, 
in some poetry that I recollect, was said to have left 
his awl for his country. After the war he was taken 
into partnership in commerce by his brother Jona- 
than. They both were for several years members of 
the State Legislature, Jonathan having been a member 
in 1776, 1777, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, and 



I WAS born on Sept. 13, 1796, at Marblehead, in 
the house on Franklin Street since known as the 
" Pickett House," it having been devised in 1854, by 
one Moses A. Pickett, to the town of Marblehead as a 
home for poor widows, " natives of the town." Mr. 
Pickett, before his death, resided in this house. He 
was a peculiar man, and some years ago, when visit- 
ing Marblehead, I found him standing in front of the 
house feeding a large number of doves, and when I 
asked him if he was in the habit of doing this, he 
replied that he was, and that he " liked doves because 
they were not desateful" 

When I was about twelve years old, and was at 
home sick with the measles, I saw from the window 
of my father's house, Floyd Ireson, the subject 
of Whittier's well-known poem, dragged along the 
street in a dory by a mob. It was a mob of men and 
boys, not of women, as the poem has it. They had 
put a lot of tar in a dory, and had emptied a feather 
bed into the tar, and then had seized Ireson and 
thrown him on his back into the dory. After he had 
been dragged about the town, the dory was placed in 
a cart for the purpose of carrying Ireson to Salem, 
but the Salem people refused to let the mob come 
into their town. The old rhyme about the affair, as 
I recollect it, was, 


" Old Flood Oireson, for his hord hort 
Was torred and f uthered and corried in a cort ; 
Old Flood Oireson, for leaving a wrack 
"Was torred and f uthered, both belly and back." 

The first school that I went to was Ma'am Abbott's. 
Afterwards I went to Master Heath's school, and fin- 
ally to the Academy, then kept by Samuel Greeley, 
a clergyman, who preached frequently on Sundays in 
Boston in the North Church on Salem Street. After- 
wards he was a deacon in Dr. Channing's church. In 
August, 1811, the month in which my mother died, I 
graduated from the Academy as first scholar, and a 
certificate from the Trustees to that effect was pre- 
sented to me by the preceptor at the public exhibition. 

The boy who stood second in my class at the Acad- 
emy was Nathaniel Lindsay, who was afterwards, for 
a long series of years, in command of the largest 
packet ships between New York and Liverpool. The 
third in the class was William Borden, who entered 
the navy as a midshipman about the time I came to 
Boston. He rose through the various grades until he 
became the commander of a large sloop-of-war, which 
was lost with all on board in a hurricane off Cape 
Hatteras. He was a man of great courage and 

It was the custom at the Academy for the older 
boys to take turns weekly at sweeping out the boys' 
and girls' rooms and making the fires. Borden and I 
were always together for that purpose, and we used to 
think that the girls ought at least to sweep out their 


own room. One morning, when the thermometer 
was below zero, Borden proposed that we should make 
the fire in the girls' room so that it would not burn. 
We arranged the fire that way, and pretty soon Miss 
Dana, the preceptress (she afterwards married Israel 
Thorndike, who built the house on the westerly corner 
of Beacon and Joy streets), sent word by one of the 
girls to Master Greeley that her fire would not burn. 
Greeley inquired who made the fires that week, and 
when informed that it was Borden and Crocker, he 
reprimanded us severely and ordered us to go forth- 
with and attend to that fire. We were busy all the 
forenoon with that fire, and did not succeed in mak- 
ing it burn till about half an hour before school was 
dismissed. Of course, on that morning we got clear 
of our recitations and studies. 

When I graduated from the Academy my father 
asked me what trade or profession I wished to follow. 
I told him that I should like to go to sea. I had been 
accustomed to go out with Skipper Thomas in his 
boat, and I enjoyed sailing a boat and being on the 
water. I could sail a boat at that time equal to any 
one in Marblehead. My father told me that if I was 
going to follow the sea, I must learn navigation. I 
liked that first rate, and my father arranged with 
Captain Story, a brother of Judge Story, to instruct 
me in that science. My father bought books, slates, 
and everything that was necessary for me to begin to 
study navigation, and I was very much pleased ; but 
my grandfather, Captain James, happened to see the 


books, and asked what they were for. I told him that 
they were for me to learn navigation, and that I was 
going to sea. " You can't go to sea," said he. " None 
of my descendants shall go to sea." I said, " What 
am I going to do, then ? Father has been and bought 
all these books and has paid as much as twenty -five 
dollars for them." But my grandfather replied, " I '11 
pay for them. I '11 get you a place. I '11 get you a 

Soon after this my grandfather took me up to 
Cambridge to Commencement. 1 My grandfather, my 
Aunt Martha 2 ("Aunt Patty" we used to call her), 
and I, all came up to Cambridge in the old chaise. 
Three grown persons could ride in that chaise very 

At Cambridge we put the horse up in a field where 
a man had a load of hay. Then we went around the 
common to see the things there, and afterwards we 
went into Dr. Holmes's old church and heard Edward 
Everett speak, this being the year when he grad- 
uated. Afterwards we drove to Boston and stopped 
at Mr. Eaton's in Governor's Alley, now Province 
Street. In the evening we went to the theatre, and 
did not get back to the house until after eleven 
o'clock. The next day my grandfather went to 

1 Commencement this year was on August 28. 

2 The person here referred to as " Aunt Martha," was Martha 
Eaton, a sister of the first wife of Mr. Crocker's father, his first 
and second wives having been cousins. She afterwards married 
Hamilton D. Reynolds, of Londonderry, N. H., and was the 
mother of the late William J. Reynolds, of Boston. 


see Mr. Samuel Parkman, who lived on Bowdoin 
Square, to ask him if he could find a place for me 
in Boston. Mr. Parkman promised to try to do so, 
but he did not succeed. That night we returned to 

My father afterwards heard through a Mr. Turell, 
of Marblehead, of a place in the printing-office of 
Mr. Samuel Turell Armstrong, and on Saturday, 
Sept. 14, 1811, the day after I was fifteen years old, 
my father took me up to Boston to place me as an 
apprentice with Mr. Armstrong. I had to spend a 
good part of my birthday cleaning up the old chaise 
and getting the horse ready, and in the morning my 
father got me up at four o'clock and we drove to 
Boston. In the afternoon my father drove home and 
left me. I did not know a soul in the city. On the 
next morning (Sunday) I got up and looked out of 
the front door of my boarding-house, which was a 
few doors north of Mr. Armstrong's store. I looked 
around, but was afraid to go far for fear of getting 
lost. Afterwards, hearing the bell of the Brattle 
Square Church ring, I went there and heard Dr. 
Buckminster preach. 

On the next (Monday) morning I went to work as 
an apprentice in Mr. Armstrong's printing-office at 
what was then No. 50 Cornhill, being the same 
premises that were afterwards No. 47, and are now 
Nos. 173 and 175 Washington Street. 

After I had been in Boston about a fortnight my 
grandfather James came up to see how I was getting 


on. He offered to take me home, but I told him I 
did not wish to go home until Thanksgiving. The 
day before Thanksgiving my grandfather came for 
me again, and I went home with him. We drove 
home after sundown, and it was a very dark night; 
and I remember that my grandfather said, "The 
horse knows the way." 

At first I was " printer's devil " in the printing- 
office, and had to do all the errands. I had to put 
the wool on the balls, and had to go on foot to 
Cambridge to Mr. Dowse (who gave his library to 
the Massachusetts Historical Society) to buy sheep- 
skins to make the balls out of. Sometimes I bought 
two or three skins at a time so that I should not 
have to go again soon. When not doing errands, I 
used to learn to set type. I learned this so fast that 
by Thanksgiving I could set up more type in an hour 
than any one else in the printing-office. For the 
first four years I got my board (which cost Mr. 
Armstrong two dollars and a half a week) and thirty 
dollars a year for clothes, and if I set up more than 
four thousand types in a day, I got twenty-five cents 
a thousand for all above that number. I could set 
up six thousand, and sometimes seven thousand in a 
day. This money I had for myself, and my father 
gave me a dollar now and then, but other than that 
I never got anything from my father or from my 
grandfather after I was fifteen. 1 

1 From an original account-book kept by Mr. Crocker it ap- 
pears that during the first four years of his apprenticeship 


I remained " printer's devil " for a little more than 
two months, or until the coming of Osmyn Brcwster, 
who afterwards became my partner. After he came, 
he was " printer's devil, " and I was a " compositor. " 
He came from Worthington, Mass., and was a 
chubby, fair-complexioned boy, dressed in a blue 
corduroy suit, when I first knew him. 

In January, 1817, when I was nineteen years old, 
Mr. Ezra Lincoln, the foreman of our printing-office, 
purchased a printing-office on Congress Street and 
left Mr. Armstrong's employ. Mr. Armstrong re- 
quested me to take Mr. Lincoln's position, and I did 
so, though with some reluctance, as there were up- 
wards of twenty compositors and pressmen and seven 
apprentices in the office, and of the apprentices four 
were older than I was, namely, William A. Parker, 
Amasa Porter, Edward Tufts, and Thomas W. Shep- 
ard. I had always been, however, the one who had 
been called on to do the difficult things that the other 
men could not manage, and I was able to earn two or 
three dollars a week over my stint, and after my 
stint was done I could go out when I had a mind to. 
Mr. Armstrong told me if I would take the place 

he received, in addition to the $120.00 allowed for clothes, the 
further sum of $180.02, on account of extra type-setting, making 
in all the sum of $300.02. It further appears that of this sum 
$95.15 remained at the end of this time uncollected in the hands 
of his employer, thereby showing that Mr. Crocker's total ex- 
penses during the four years, exclusive of his board, which was 
furnished by Mr. Armstrong, amounted to $204.87, or less than 
$1.00 a week. 


of foreman I should go out as much as I wished. 
Well, I took the place, and I never had any trouble. 
I never assumed anything, but went right along and 
attended to my duty. I never had an unpleasant or 
unkind word from any of my fellow-apprentices. 1 

1 The following extract from a communication from an old 
printer, which appeared in the "Salem Register" for Aug. 9, 
1855, gives us a pleasant glimpse of the relations that existed 
between Mr. Crocker, as the foreman of a printing-office, and 
the men in his employ : 

"I went to Boston in 1827 and hired myself to Crocker & 
Brewster, to learn book work, for I had never set up a page for a 
book in my life, though four years at the business, nor had I ever 
worked off a book-form at press. I found Mr. Crocker was fore- 
man, and he gave me some copy and a ' stick and rule ' for the 
4 Missionary Herald.' Part of my copy was to be * leaded ' and 
I was told to ' pick out leads from a form on the stone.' So I 
went to work and set up my matter solid, intending to lead it 
afterwards, and was engaged in picking out leads by opening each 
line and extracting the lead, when Mr. Crocker came along beside 
me. He said nothing, however, only looked on for a few minutes, 
and then in his quick and rapid way stepped to another part of 
the office and brought an empty galley, saying, 'Look here, 
young man, let me show you a better way than that.' He said 
this so pleasantly and did it so quick that I felt relieved of a load 
of a thousand pounds. A few days after this I had a paragraph 
to ' overrun,' and had spread the lines along a galley, busily 
getting 'in * an ' out,' when he came along, stopping to notice 
my awkwardness, but saying nothing. After I had gathered 
up the lines thus spread out, and was about to do likewise with 
some thirty or forty lines more, he stopped me, saying, * Stop a 
minute, let me show you.' He then very kindly 'reversed* 
my matter, and showed me how to take off the words, a lesson 
I have had occasion to teach to many a greenhorn since. It was 
the way and manner in which Mr. Crocker kindly spoke and 
acted that has caused these little incidents to be cherished as 
worthy of notice for the imitation of others." 


From this time until I was free Mr. Armstrong al- 
lowed me two dollars a week for my services as fore- 
man. He told me to manage the office just the same 
as if it was my own, and if any of the men did not 
do what I told them to, I was to order them to go 
downstairs and get their money. The office then 
ran seven presses. Mr. Brewster left the printing- 
office about this time and went downstairs into the 
book store. Mr. Armstrong had at first wished me 
to go into the store, but I told him I did not wish to 
do so, as I wanted to learn the printing business so 
that I should have a trade by which I could earn a 
living. * 

1 Another old printer, one J. S. Redfield, living in Burlington, 
N. J., wrote in September, 1886, to the "New York Tribune," 
concerning Mr. Crocker, as follows : " Sixty odd years ago, 
when I first knew him, he was foreman of the printing-office of 
the late Samuel T. Armstrong, of Boston, with whom he had also 
served an apprenticeship. In those days a boy had to serve 
seven years to learn the printer's trade, but he learned something 
more than merely sticking ' type. Press work was then done 
on hand presses. Machine presses, and even inking machines 
were unknown. The forms were inked with balls by one man, 
when another pulled the impression. Eight tokens a day, one 
thousand impressions on one side, was considered a day's work. 
Mr. Armstrong was the publisher of ' Scott's Commentaries on 
the Bible,' a large octavo in six volumes. It was being stereo- 
typed at the Boston Type and Stereotype Foundry, in 1824, when 
I was 'copyholder ' there, as they called it. After reading the 
proofs twice, the revise was sent to Mr. Crocker for his super- 
vision. It was my business to take these revises to him, and 
sometimes I had to stop and read the copy to him. So I used to 
see him very often, and I remember being struck with his kind 
and genial manners, he being a man of probably twenty-eight and 
I a boy of fourteen." 


We printed a good deal at that time for Jeremiah 
Evarts. He used to write thousands of pages of 
manuscript in a round, plain hand, hardly altering 
so much as a word, and it never required more than 
a few minutes to make all the corrections when the 
proof was returned. Jeremiah Evarts was an extraor- 
dinary man. He could recollect the dates of about 
everything that had happened since the beginning 
of the world. He was the father of the Hon. Wil- 
liam M. Evarts. Others for whom we printed, Rev. 
Ethan Smith, Rev. Lyman Beecher, Elijah Parish, 
of By field, Rev. Heman Humphrey, and Rev. Dr. 
Morse, of Charlestown, were more or less careless 
in their manuscripts, and hours were spent by us in 
deciphering their words. Frequently, if we could not 
succeed in making out the words, we would put in 
words of about the same length that made nonsense, 
or would leave a vacant space or turn the type upside 

In those days I belonged to the militia and used to 
perform military duty. We had to turn out on the 
first Tuesday in May and on two or three other days 
in the year, and had to pay a fine every time we did 
not attend. That military duty lasted from the age 
of eighteen to that of twenty-one. I never had much 
to do with a gun, but once, when I was in the 
militia, the men were all shooting at a mark, and 
though I tried to get off, I failed to do so, and had 
to try my skill. It so happened that my bullet 
struck the bull's-eye, and I gained a great reputation 



as a marksman from that one shot, but I was always 
very careful not to try again, for I knew that if I did, 
it would be found that I could not send my bullet 
anywhere near the target. One Monday morning 
they turned us out and marched us about on the 
common all day. The next day they marched us to 
Dedham, ten miles away. It rained so in the night 
that it shrunk the canvas of the tents and drew the 
tent pegs out of the ground, and we had to get up 
and set our tent up again. The next day we marched 
in the rain at division muster all day till six o'clock, 
and after dark orders came for us to leave the ground 
before nine and march back to Boston. That was 
the last time I ever marched. 1 was then nineteen. 
Those three days were too much for me. I had to 
lug that heavy gun and carry a great heavy blanket 
on my shoulders. After that I swore off and paid 
my fines. 

At about this time I tried to learn to sing. I 
used to go to a house in Province Court and practise 
night after night, and after school we waited on the 
girls home. One of my fellow-apprentices used to 
go to Cambridge with his girl/ and I recollect that 
once he had no money to pay the toll on the bridge, 
and she had to pay for him going over and to give 
him a cent to pay his toll back. Finally I gave up 
trying to sing as they concluded I had no voice. 

About the time I was free I bought a square of 
carpet and that desk now in my parlor and some 
chairs, one large arm-chair for myself, to sit in 


when writing, and some other chairs for company. 
The carpet cost me eighteen dollars and a half, and 
the desk seventeen dollars. I boarded then on Wash- 
ington Street, up one flight, in front of the Province 
House. The entrance to the house was through the 
passageway leading to the Province House, and the 
door of the house was on the left hand side of the 
passageway. Previously to this I had boarded on 
the corner of Green and Chambers streets, and at 
the easterly end of Howard Street in a house that set 
back fifty or a hundred feet from the street. 

When I was free, the journeymen claimed that I 
must give them a treat. I told them I would do so, 
but that it must be postponed until Saturday. We 
fixed up some tables in the attic of the printing- 
office, and I sent out and got some ham, corned beef, 
etc., etc. I also had lemonade, punch, and Jamaica 
rum. I bought a dozen bottles of Madeira wine and 
paid a dollar a bottle for it. The men, however, 
did not take kindly to the Madeira, but preferred the 
lemonade and the rum. I kept a bottle of that 
Madeira for many years, and finally opened it when 
my grandson, George Uriel Crocker, came of age in 
1884. The men came in from the other printing- 
offices, and 1 think there was hardly an office in Bos- 
ton that was not represented. I guess that treat cost 
me a pretty round sum, one hundred dollars or more, 
but I had promised to do it. 

At this time we used to begin work at six o'clock 
in the morning. We had an hour (from seven to 


eight) for breakfast and an hour for dinner. In 
summer we worked till dark, but after September 
20th, we had to go back after tea and work till eight 
P. M. by candle-light (candles ten to the pound). 
After eight o'clock we went home and "played saw 
wood " till ten o'clock, and then went to bed. 

Somewhere about the year 1820, I was a member 
of a fire company called the " Conservative Society." 
Each of us had two leather buckets to take with us 
when we ran to the fire, and we always kept the 
buckets ready for use with a bed-key and two large 
canvas bags in them. I still have those buckets and 
bags. The bed-key was for the purpose of taking 
apart the bedsteads that we might find in the houses 
that were on fire or liable to take fire, and the can- 
vas bags were to be used to put small articles in that 
might be saved from the fire. The " rules and regu- 
lations " of this " Conservative Society," printed in 
1811, provided in Article 4 that "Every member 
shall constantly keep together, in the most suitable 
place in his house, two leather buckets, two canvas 
bags, and one bed-key; the buckets and bags to be 
uniformly painted, agreeably to the directions of the 
society." Article 5 further provided that "If a 
building, occupied by any member of the society, 
be in danger from fire, every other member shall 
immediately repair to such building, with his buck- 
ets, bags, and bed -key, and use his best endeavors to 
preserve the building, and to remove and secure the 
goods and effects." Among the members of this 


society were Mr. Thomas Minns, Mr. Charles Ewer, 
Mr. Charles A. Wells, Mr. Melvin Lord, Mr. Timo- 
thy H. Carter, Mr. Theophilus R. Marvin, Mr. Har- 
rison Gray, Mr. Joseph T. Buckingham, Mr. William 
W. Clapp, and Mr. Nathan Hale. 

In 1817, just before it was time for me to be free, 
Mr. Armstrong came to me and said that he was 
going off on a journey to the Mammoth Cave, and 
should be absent at the time of my twenty-first birth- 
day. He asked me to continue to hold the position 
of foreman of the printing-office till he came back, 
and he promised me that, if I would do so, he would 
take me into partnership the next year. Accordingly 
on Nov. 1, 1818, he took Mr. Brewster and myself 
into partnership with him, the arrangement being 
that the book-store was to be carried on in the name 
of Samuel T. Armstrong, and the printing-office in 
the name of Crocker & Brewster. Jeremiah Evarts 
drew up our articles of co-partnership. 

After 1825 the whole business was carried on 
under the name of Crocker & Brewster. Mr. Arm- 
strong continued to be a member of the firm until 
1840. He was in the habit of visiting the store 
almost daily until his death in 1850. After he gave 
up business he became mayor of Boston and acting- 
governor of the Commonwealth, having been elected 
lieutenant-governor, and the governor, John Davis, 
having resigned upon being elected United States sen- 
ator. The printing-office was always in my especial 
charge, and the book-store in that of Mr. Brewster. 


In 1820 or 1821 we were thinking of publishing an 
edition of Scott's Family Bible in six volumes oc- 
tavo, to be printed from ordinary type. I suggested 
to Mr. Armstrong and to Mr. Brewster that it would 
be better to stereotype it. There had already been 
editions published in America from type, one by 
Woodward in Philadelphia, and one by Dodge in 
New York, and both these publishers had failed, as 
was understood in consequence of their publication 
of this work. These I think were quarto editions. 
Mr. Armstrong had also published an edition of 
the work. I showed Mr. Armstrong figures which 
I had made to show the greater advantage and profit 
of stereotyping, but he was unwilling to trust these 
figures. At that time no large work had ever been 
stereotyped in America, and Mr. Armstrong was 
afraid to assume the great expense and risk of stereo- 
typing these six large volumes. I showed him that 
if we stereotyped the work, we need print only five 
hundred copies at a time, whereas, if we printed 
from type, we should have to print three thousand 
copies at once, and thus we could make a large sav- 
ing in paper, which would help to pay for the stereo- 
typing. Mr. Armstrong used to take my figures off 
with him, and would come back about once a week 
with questions which I was always ready to answer. 
We proposed to Cummings & Hilliard, to Manning 
& Loring, and to Lincoln & Edmands that they 
should join in the undertaking with us, but they all 
declined, and Mr. Manning and Mr. Lincoln begged 


us not to undertake it, as they said it would fail us. 
After two or three months Mr. Armstrong finally 
concluded to go ahead and stereotype at least the 
first volume. We were sure we had money enough 
to pay for stereotyping that. He said that everybody 
that he had consulted advised him not to do it, but 
that I seemed to have it on my brain, and to see it 
so clearly, that he had made up his mind to go 

I at once made a contract for the stereotyping with 
Mr. Timothy H. Carter. I was to pay every Satur- 
day noon eighty per cent of the price for the work 
done during the preceding week, and the other twenty 
per cent was to be paid on the completion of the 
volume. Every Saturday noon I took the money 
down to Salem Street, where the work was being 
done in a large building next beyond the North 
Church. I was never behind once in my payments. 
Carter never had to send for his money, and when 
the volume was completed, I gave him a check for 
his remaining twenty per cent. When we got through 
with that volume, Mr. Armstrong took courage and 
we went right on with the next, and kept on till the 
whole work was completed. The stereotyping of the 
whole work took about a year or a year and a half, 
and cost us about twenty thousand dollars, a very 
large sum for us in those days ; but it proved to be a 
very fortunate investment. I suppose I made more 
money out of that work than out of any I ever pub- 
lished. We printed the Scott's Bible from those 


plates as long as I was in the business, and when we 
gave up our business we sold the plates to Mr. H. 
O. Houghton. Probably we printed and sold in all 
twenty or thirty thousand copies of the work. It 
cost us about six dollars a copy to manufacture them, 
and the retail price at which they were sold was 
twenty -four dollars a copy. We got about twelve 
dollars a copy for those we sold to the trade. 1 

After this Mr. Armstrong always had the greatest 
confidence in my judgment. He never bought a 
share of stock or made any investment whatever 
without consulting me, and he always once a year 
looked over his property with me to see if any change 
ought to be made in it. 

Every spring I used to go off to the other cities to 
attend to our business. I had to be away sometimes 
for six weeks. I would go to Portland, Bangor, 
Augusta, Worcester, Hartford, New York, and 
Philadelphia. Generally Joseph Harper and I went 
on together from New York to Philadelphia to at- 
tend the book auctions there. We used to go with 
Cornelius Vanderbilt, who owned the boats, and who 
went every morning and came back every afternoon, 
and we had many social talks with him. In Phila- 

1 In an old account book of Mr. Crocker's there is the follow- 
ing memorandum : " There are in Scott's Bible 569 signatures. 
It takes for 1000 copies 629 reams of paper. Two presses will 
print an edition, allowing each press 9 tokens a day, in 21 weeks 
(27 forms each week). Three presses will complete an edition 
(9 tokens on each press 40 forms each week) in a little upwards 
of fourteen weeks." 


delphia the booksellers used to get together a good 
deal. I recollect one grand entertainment they had 
there, when, after they were through eating, they all 
began to smoke. I never could stand tobacco smoke, 
and I wanted to go out ; but I found that every door 
was locked and nobody knew where the keys were. 
They never got me to go to any of their feasts again, 
though they frequently tried to do so. 

Travelling in those days was pretty hard work. It 
took a day and a half, travelling night and day, to 
get from Boston to New York. I remember that 
once I started from New York for New Haven in a 
steamboat which was full of Yale students. When 
we were within about a quarter of a mile of the wharf 
in New Haven, the boat got frozen up in the ice and 
could go no farther. The captain said that when the 
tide came in, it would break up the ice so that he 
could get his boat through and up to the wharf, 
which was in plain sight. I concluded to go below 
and turn in, and went to sleep and slept till about 
four or five o'clock in the morning, when some one 
came and woke me up and said he had been up all 
night, and he thought I ought to let him have a turn 
at my berth for a while. I thought I had had my 
share of it, and so I got up and let him take my 
place. After a while some coaches were sent round 
to the other side of the bay, and I took my bag and 
lugged it across the ice and rode round to New 
Haven, and went to a coffee-house, where after a 
while I succeeded in getting a fire. This was on 


Sunday. I stayed there all day and went to church. 
1 intended to take the stage for Boston in the even- 
ing; but when the stage came along, Green, the 
driver, said there were nine inside, and so there was 
no room for me. So I had to grin and bear it, and 
stay all night. In the morning I took an extra and 
started; and when we had gone some six or seven 
miles we found the stage that had started the night 
before, stuck in the mud. We reached Hartford late 
that evening and got up at two or three o'clock the 
next morning and came on to Boston. That Sunday 
night was the night on which old Dr. Lyman Beecher's 
church was burned. l Another time, when going down 
to Portland, I was nearly frozen to death. I don't 
know how I ever lived through so much as I did, but 
I had so much to do that I had no time to think 
about myself. 

A young man named Haven took Mr. Brewster's 
place as clerk in the store when Mr. Brewster became 
a partner. Mr. Armstrong had a high opinion of 
Haven, and as we thought it desirable to have a 
branch of our business in New York, we made, in 
November, 1821, a partnership for five years with 
Haven, and he went to New York to take charge of 
a store for us there. Haven was to have half the 
profits of the business there, and was guaranteed five 
hundred dollars for the first year and one thousand 
dollars for each of the other four years. Mr. Arm- 

1 Dr. Beecher's church, which was on Hanover St., Boston, 
was burned on the morning of the first day of February, 1830. 


strong and I went on to New York and hired for the 
business the store on the southerly corner of John 
Street and Broadway. After this partnership had 
gone on for three or four years, I made some figures 
that satisfied me that there was something wrong 
in the New York business. I became more and 
more sure of this until the time fixed for the part- 
nership to expire. Mr. Armstrong had such a high 
opinion of Haven that he would not believe any 
harm of him. He told Mr. Brewster that I had a 
prejudice against Haven, but that Mr. Brewster must 
not let that affect him. I told Mr. Brewster, how- 
ever, that I was not willing to be a partner any longer 
in the New York store, and that I would sell it out 
to Haven and take his notes, if I could not do any 
better. In November, 1826, when the partnership 
expired, I went to New York to meet Mr. Arm- 
strong, who had been travelling in the South, and 
Mr. Armstrong and I went to the store to look 
over matters. By good luck I got hold of Haven's 
check-book and clapped it under my coat, but went 
on talking about selling out to Haven and what he 
ought to pay me. Finally we separated, and Haven 
agreed to meet us in the evening at Bunker's, near 
the Battery, where Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong and I 
were stopping. When I reached my room I began to 
study that check -book, and when Mr. Armstrong and 
Mr. Haven came, I questioned Haven about some of 
the checks which he had drawn. I began, "Mr. 
Haven, what did you draw that four thousand dollar 


check for ? " He could not recollect anything about 
it. I pointed out another for thirty-five hundred 
dollars and another for twelve hundred dollars, but 
he could not tell me anything about them. Finally 
I said, " Here is one for twenty-four hundred dollars 
drawn within a week ; what was that for ? " He 
could n't tell. The terms of the partnership were 
that no purchase amounting to more than five hun- 
dred dollars, and no note for any sum, was to be 
made by Haven without consulting his partners in 
Boston. I kept putting questions to Haven till one 
o'clock, and Mr. Armstrong kept pressing him to 
answer. About that time Mr. Armstrong, who was 
pretty tired, as he had been travelling till late the 
night before, went downstairs to speak to his wife. 
After he had gone I pressed Haven more strongly, 
and after about half an hour he took a book out of 
his pocket and showed me what all the checks were 
for, and how all the money had been expended. 
About this time Mr. Armstrong came back and I told 
him all I had found out, that Haven had been buy- 
ing stocks and land, and had been shaving notes 
with our money. I never saw Mr. Armstrong so 
excited in my life. He broke out: "Mr. Crocker 
has always said there was something wrong here, 
but I always refused to believe it; and here it is ten 
times worse than he ever claimed!" We made 
Haven give us a check for the amount he had in the 
bank, about five thousand dollars, and at three or 
four o'clock in the morning I went with Haven to 


his house in Lispenard Street and waked his wife 
and got the deeds to the twenty-six up-town lots 
which he had bought with our money, paying three 
or four hundred dollars on a lot. He also signed a 
dissolution of the partnership, and I went to the 
newspaper office and had the notice of the dissolu- 
tion put in the paper. In the morning I opened the 
store myself and took possession. 

Mr. Armstrong came in early, and, about the time 
when the banks opened, it occurred to me that Haven 
might go to the bank and draw out that money. I 
suggested this to Mr. Armstrong, and we started off 
on a run down the street in the rain, it was raining 
like guns, and we went into the bank and drew the 
money ; and just as we were going out the door we 
met Haven coming in. Probably if we had been five 
minutes later Haven would have drawn out all the 
money. Mr. Armstrong said, "Crocker, how came 
you to think of this ? " 1 told him that when I had 
to do with a rogue I was pretty cautious. After I 
got possession of Haven's books I found that when 
he had been writing me that he had no money, he 
was paying out thousands of dollars for stocks or for 
lots of land. 

I hardly ever spoke to Haven after this. We con- 
cluded to make no claim on the lands he had bought, 
as the amounts remaining to be paid on them were 
so large. The lots were on West Twenty-third to 
Twenty-fifth streets, near where the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel now stands. Haven made some money, I 


think, out of these lands, but subsequently failed, 
and was in reduced circumstances during the rest of 
his life. He died a few years ago. 

When I went to New York at this time I had ex- 
pected to be gone from Boston not more than a week, 
but I stayed for six months in charge of the store, 
till I sold it out. I boarded at the Franklin House, 
on the opposite side of Broadway, with McNeil 
Seymour, who had previously kept the Marlboro 
Hotel in Boston, and who had the Boston custom. 
My room was on the corner, up one flight, with one 
window on Broadway and one (the southerly one) on 
the side street. I finally sold out the store to Daniel 
Appleton and Jonathan Leavitt. Appleton and 
Leavitt had married sisters, two Misses Adams, of 
Andover, Mass. Appleton had been a dry goods mer- 
chant before he bought me out, but had failed in that 
business, by reason of the failure of Adams & Emery. 
Mr. Adams, of the firm of Adams & Emery, was a 
brother of Appleton's wife. He was subsequently 
president of the Firemen's Insurance Company of 
Boston. A few years after Appleton & Leavitt 
bought me out they separated, and Appleton moved 
a few doors nearer the park, between John and 
Fulton streets, and the business was subsequently 
carried on in the name of D. Appleton & Sons, a 
firm name which has become widely known in 
recent years. 

John Treadwell, who was a boy in the employ of 
Seymour when I lived at his house, and who at- 


tended to my washing and my boots, afterwards 
became a partner with Seymour, and still later kept 
the St. Nicholas Hotel in New York, when it was 
first opened. He became quite wealthy. When I 
was living at the Franklin House, John used to 
make something by letting my room, with my per- 
mission, to ladies who wanted to see shows passing 
up Broadway. 

When I was at the Franklin House there was a 
man there from Kentucky, named Wykoff. He did 
not pay his bills, and Seymour told him he must go. 
He got the notion that I had put Seymour up to tak- 
ing this action, and one evening he came to my room 
and charged me with it, and challenged me to meet 
him the next morning at four o'clock, at Hoboken, 
with pistols. He was a tall, straight man, with 
black hair and whiskers, and a very black, piercing 
eye. I told him that I had nothing to do with the 
matter, and that it was then so late that I could not 
get a second and pistols in readiness for four o'clock 
the next morning. He offered me his pistols, and 
said I might take my choice. I managed to keep 
out of his way for a day or two, and he had to leave 
the hotel, and I saw no more of him. 

Some years before the Boston and Worcester Rail- 
road and the Western Railroad were united to form 
the Boston and Albany, P. P. F. Degrand, Thomas 
J. Lobdell, and I, with others, as a committee of 
the Western Railroad, had various meetings with 
Nathan Hale, William Sturgis, Eliphalet Williams, 


David Henshaw, and Samuel Greeley (my old precep- 
tor), a committee of the Boston and Worcester Rail- 
road, to endeavor to arrange a union between the two 
roads. On behalf of the Western Railroad we offered 
to unite on the basis of giving the stockholders in 
the Boston and Worcester Railroad for every five 
shares that they owned six shares in the stock of the 
new corporation to be formed by the union of the two 
roads, while the stockholders in the Western Rail- 
road should have the same number of shares in the 
new as in the old corporation. The Boston and Wor- 
cester Railroad people refused to accept these terms, 
and, as we were about to separate, I arose and said that 
I was sorry that the terms which we had reluctantly 
proposed had been refused, that I believed the roads 
ought to be united, and that I hoped they would be 
before long, and that the time was not far distant 
when the Boston and Worcester Railroad would be 
glad to unite on terms which should give the West- 
ern the same advantages which we had proposed to 
give to the Worcester. The roads were finally united 
on the terms I then suggested; that is, giving each 
stockholder in the Western Railroad six shares for 
every five that he owned, and giving to the stock- 
holders in the Boston and Worcester Railroad only 
share for share. 

Crocker & Brewster introduced into Boston the 
first iron-lever printing-press. It was manufactured 
by John L. Wells, a Quaker residing in Hartford, 
Conn. We subsequently had five others of the same 


manufacture. We also printed from the first power 
press, a press that was begun by T. B. Waite, of 
the firm of Wells & Libbey, and was completed by 
Prof. Daniel Treadwell of Harvard College. 

In 1837, when so many people failed, including all 
the booksellers in Boston except Crocker & Brewster, 
our firm met promptly all its obligations, as indeed 
it never once failed to do throughout the whole of 
the long period of its existence. 

Crocker & Brewster carried on business in the 
old building to which I first went as an apprentice, 
for fifty-three years, or from 1811 to 1864. Then 
we moved to the adjoining building, and remained 
there for twelve years, or until 1876, when we relin- 
quished active business and sold out all our stereo- 
type plates, copyrights, and book stock to H. 0. 
Houghton & Company. 

The estate on Washington Street (now numbered 
173 and 175, but formerly numbered 47) on which 
I began my business life, and where Crocker & 
Brewster did business for so many years, was bought 
by me from the heirs of Mrs. Armstrong after her 
death. 1 

I was married on Feb. 11, 1829, by Rev. Dr. 
Charles Lowell, to Sarah Kidder Haskell, a daugh- 
ter of Elias Haskell of Boston. At this time I was 
worth, I suppose, some ten or fifteen thousand dol- 
lars. For one year after my marriage I lived at 

i This estate Mr. Crocker continued to own until the time of 
his death. By his will he devised it to his two sons. 



No. 60 High Street, on the corner of Atkinson Street. 
Then I bought the house on Lynde Street next north 
of the West Church, and lived there for eighteen 
years, or until 1847. In this house all my children 

Uriel Haskell, Sarah Haskell, and George Glover 

were born. In 1850 I sold this house to Mr. 
George A. Cunningham, but in 1854 I bought it 
again. In 1847 1 bought and moved into the house 
No. 23 (afterwards 29) Somerset Street, nearly oppo- 
site Allston Street. There I lived for thirty-eight 
years, or until 1885, when the estate was taken by 
the city as a part of the site for a new court-house. 
I then bought the house No. 319 Commonwealth 
Avenue. 1 

My wife died Jan. 16, 1856, at the age of fifty 

AT the annual meeting of the Bunker Hill Monu- 
ment Association, held June 17, 1885, the older 
members of the association gave reminiscences of the 
visit of Lafayette to this country in 1824, and Mr. 
Crocker spoke as follows : 

"My recollections of Lafayette are that I was in 
New York on Lafayette's arrival in 1824, being then 
about twenty-eight years of age ; that there was no 

1 Mr. Crocker continued to reside with his daughter in this 
house until his death. By his will he gave it to his daughter. 


public demonstration on that occasion ; that on the 
day following I was invited by an officer of the navy 
to accompany Lafayette in a steamer from New York 
to the Brooklyn Navy Yard; that there were only 
twenty or twenty-five on the boat ; that on our arrival 
at the navy yard a salute was fired in honor of the 
General; and that, after visiting the docks and 
grounds and one of the vessels, we took a boat, in 
which we went up the East River a short distance 
and returned by Brooklyn Heights, the Battery, and 
the Jersey shore, and then we went up to the High- 
lands on the North River, having been absent some 
four or five hours. While on the boat General Lafay- 
ette recalled several reminiscences of the days when 
he was in that vicinity during the Revolution. 

"From New York Lafayette came to Boston, 
where he was received with great public parade and 
universal rejoicing. At the laying of the corner- 
stone of the Bunker Hill Monument my partner and 
myself and two gentlemen from Connecticut, one of 
whom was afterwards well known to the public as 
"Peter Parley," were fortunate in securing a car- 
riage for the day, and as fortunate in getting a good 
location to see Lafayette and to hear Webster's 

" Subsequently, also, at the dinner on Bunker Hill 
proper, to which the company marched four in col- 
umn, we had seats where we could hear the after- 
dinner eloquence and wit. It was a notable gala 
day. Everything which could be used as a vehicle 


was brought into requisition, and Charlestown was 
crowded with people, wagons, and horses. After 
the dinner our party drove to Prospect Hill in 
Somerville, to the Washington Elm in Cambridge, 
and to other points of Revolutionary interest. " 


AS has been before stated, the firm of Crocker & 
Brewster retired from active business in 1876, 
but the partnership was not then dissolved, and in 
fact continued in existence until it was terminated 
by the death of the senior partner. 

In 1868 the firm celebrated the fiftieth anniversary 
of the formation of their partnership by a festival at 
the house of the senior partner, an account of which 
festival, taken from one of the newspapers of the 
time is inserted at a subsequent page. 

On Monday, Nov. 29, 1886, the partners celebrated 
at Mr. Crocker's house the seventy fifth anniversary 
of their first meeting as apprentices in 1811. Both 
gentlemen were then in good health and stood side 
by side, receiving the congratulations of the numer- 
ous friends and distinguished citizens who called to 
pay their respects. 

On the ninetieth birthday of Mr. Crocker (Sept. 
13, 1886) he was visited at his son's residence in 
Cohasset by Mr. Brewster and by very many of his 


When the body of Dr. Parkman, who was mur- 
dered by Professor Webster, was discovered, Sheriff 
Eveleth, who was also coroner, met Mr. Crocker, 
as he was going home to dinner, and stopping him 
said: "Mr. Crocker, you are the very man I want 
for foreman of my coroner's jury." Mr. Crocker 
endeavored to persuade the sheriff to select some 
other person, but without success. Parting from 
Mr. Eveleth, he went directly home, ordered his 
dinner to be got ready as quickly as possible, and 
immediately after dinner obtained his horses and 
carriage and started on his afternoon drive. He had 
barely gone when the sheriff came to the house to 
summon him. Finding that Mr. Crocker had es- 
caped, the sheriff went for his partner, Mr. Brewster, 
who was thus forced to fill the unpleasant position 
of foreman of the coroner's jury in the celebrated 
Webster case. 

Mr. Crocker always derived much enjoyment and 
much benefit from travelling. Even in his later 
years he could perform with ease journeys in the 
cars or in the stage coach that greatly fatigued those 
much younger than he. In 1871 he made a trip to 
California, visiting the Yosemite Valley, the Big 
Trees, Los Angeles, and other places of interest. 
In 1874, when seventy-eight years of age, he crossed 
the ocean for the first and only time in his life, and 
spent four months in Great Britain and on the 
Continent, apparently enjoying everything as fully 
and suffering as little fatigue as the other members 


of his party, who were all in the vigor of youth. In 
September, 1883, being then eighty-seven years of 
age, he went with his partner, Mr. Brewster, to the 
White Mountains ; and as an illustration of his en- 
durance it may be mentioned that on this occasion 
he left Cohasset in the morning and came to Boston 
and there took the nine o'clock train for the moun- 
tains, where he arrived at about three o'clock ; then, 
after eating his dinner, he was driven in the afternoon 
to the top of Mount Willard, and finished the day 
watching the dancing in the parlor of the hotel. On 
a succeeding day he and his partner visited the top of 
Mount Washington together. 

Mr. Crocker became a member of the Old South 
Church in 1831, and was a regular attendant at that 
church until it abandoned its old location on the cor- 
ner of Washington and Milk streets, and moved to the 
Back Bay, a change which he strongly opposed. 

Mr. Crocker died from an internal hemorrhage on 
July 19, 1887, at the age of ninety years, ten months, 
and six days. He was at the time at the residence 
of his son, George G. Crocker, on Jerusalem Road, 
Cohasset. He had been in the enjoyment of his usual 
health and activity until within a few days of his 
death. He was buried in his lot on Pilgrim Path at 
Mount Auburn Cemetery. 

Mr. Osmyn Brewster survived his partner for 
nearly two years. He died at his residence, No. 32 
Hancock Street, Boston, on July 15, 1889, at the age 
of nearly ninety-two years. 




NEWPORT, March 17, 1829. 

Tuesday, 5 o'clock P.M. 

DEAR SARAH, After leaving you about half an 
hour, that is, at half-past five, we got safely started 
in the stage, breakfasted at Dedham at half -past six, 
where I took two cups of coffee, a beef steak, etc., 
and proceeded ; and at eleven arrived at Providence, 
no other hindrance than breaking the tire of the 
wheel, which was replaced by a new wheel in half 
an hour. On arriving at the boat there was some 
little snow, but it was thought best to proceed as 
far as this place. The snow continues, but the Cap- 
tain thinks the Sound is no place for his boat, the 
passengers, nor him, and we shall tarry here till fair 
weather, which there is a fair probability of there 
being by the morning. We shall have the daylight 
for the passage, and I hope to be in New York by 
to-morrow (Wednesday) evening; but, should the 
storm continue, we shall not start from this place, 
as the Captain is a very prudent, careful, and con- 
siderate man. Among the passengers are Deacon 


Noyes, of the firm of Maynard & Noyes, Mr. Joseph 
Thayer, Mr. J. M. Whidden, Mr. Ward, late of the 
firm of Ropes & Ward, and Mr. Hyde of Portland, 
a bookseller, and his wife. I am now in a book- 
seller's store (Mr. Callahan's), and have begged a 
sheet of paper, ink, pen, etc., and a privilege at his 
desk to write this, which he, being one of the frater- 
nity, readily and obligingly grants. We have about 
sixty passengers, and from appearances, there being 
no wind and but very little snow, there is but little 
doubt we shall have a safe passage. With love to 
your parents, sister Hannah, and Abigail, and all 
inquiring friends, I remain, 

Truly and affectionately your husband, 


P. S. We stopped at Providence till twelve o'clock, 
arrived at this place at three P. M., thirty miles 
distant from Providence and seventy-two miles dis- 
tant from you. The town is rather pleasant, but 
dull. I have not yet seen a tavern, neither do I 
want to, as I have a fine berth with clean sheets, 
and there is good provision on board, at least if I 
may judge from the dinner. I take tea on board, 
as do all the passengers. There being so many, we 
shall pass the evening, I have but little doubt, very 
pleasantly, but not quite as much so as I should with 
you in my own hired house. Hope you will not 
have your fears raised if you have had the same 
quantity of snow that we have. Shall write you 


soon after my arrival at New York. Till then 
adieu, with best wishes from yours truly, with love, 


NEWPORT, March 18, 1829. 

DEAR SARAH, My next letter I intended to have 
written you from New York, but the snow and lastly 
the winds have kept us safe in the harbor of Newport, 
where there is a strong probability of our continu- 
ing till the morning, unless the wind should go down 
with the sun. You have ere this got my letter dated 
yesterday at this place, by which you will learn of 
my journey and the manner in which I expended my 
time till then. Last evening, after two cups of 
coffee, etc., and walking about deck half an hour, I 
retired to rest, that is, at eight o'clock. There was 
considerable disturbance on deck, first getting the 
steam up and getting passengers aboard, next letting 
off the steam and making fast the vessel, etc., but 
none of these things disturbed me, neither did I hear 
them. At about four I woke and thought from the 
dashing of the waves, the rocking of the boat, etc., 
she must be moving on, and accordingly I got up and 
went on deck. You may judge of my surprise to 
find her still at the wharf. It being very cold and 
the wind strong, I returned again to my bunk, and 
slept till seven, making up my ten hours' sleep. 
To-day I feel very smart, have not been to the boat 
since breakfast, but amuse myself looking round 


and seeing what is to be seen, which is very little 
indeed. Dined at a tavern in company with some 
of the passengers, but think I shall take the remain- 
der of my meals on board. Our fare there is very 
good, which is what I cannot say of that at the 
tavern, and costs nothing, at least, eight dollars 
pays all expenses, if we are a week going. With 
much love to you and your parents and sister, I 

Truly yours, 



Half-past nine A.M., Thursday morning, 

Forty-five miles from New York, March 19, 1829. 

MY DEAR WIFE, Having taken a good breakfast, 
the weather clear, the sun shining, and everything 
pleasant about us, and a fair prospect of being in 
New York by two o'clock, I thought it best to spend 
a few minutes in writing. We left Newport last 
evening at half-past seven; at eight I turned in, 
there being some symptoms of seasickness, and 
shortly fell asleep, which was not disturbed till 
about seven this morning, and then only by the pas- 
sengers rising from their sleep. Have not heard from 
home other than by the steamboat "Washington," 
which came alongside of us at half-past six last 
evening, while lying at the wharf at Newport. Her 
passengers left Boston on Wednesday morning. 1 
went aboard, but could find no one whom 1 knew or 


ever saw. She immediately started, and got at least 
ten miles before we moved from the wharf. Our 
boat is the fastest, as we passed her at three this 
morning, and she is now in the rear of us at least 
eight miles. On going on deck soon after rising I 
found the boat nearly opposite New Haven, the 
steeples plainly in view. There has been nothing 
since I left Boston but what has passed off pleasantly, 
and I have more than once wished you were with 
me to enjoy it. There has been some seasickness. 
The ladies have all been sick, more or less. They 
went ashore at Newport on Wednesday, but Tuesday 
night they had a bad time lying at the wharf, the sea 
and the wind were so violent, so much so that it 
carried away, or rather broke, the topmast ; but they 
all say, that is, the ladies, they feel very well and 
have enjoyed themselves much. I wrote two letters 
from Newport, one on Tuesday evening, and the 
other on Wednesday, which you will probably receive 
safely. You would be amused to see us here in the 
cabin. There are two tables, at each of which there 
are four playing whist ; then there are some ten or 
twelve reading books or tracts; there are five of us 
writing letters ; some peeping out of their berths ; and 
others walking, all for amusement. Shall soon, 
that is, in four hours, hope to be in New York, where 
I shall close this and send it by the afternoon steam- 
boat, which you will get by Saturday morning, and 
I hope write me during the day and lodge at the post- 
office before eight in the evening, as the mail leaves 


at ten, and address to me at Philadelphia. This ink 
and paper I am indebted to some one, but to whom I 
know not, they have my thanks. Adieu, from your 

We move at the rate of twelve miles an hour. 


P. S. I arrived here at twenty minutes past one, 
and find myself at the Franklin House. There are 
some of the old waiters, but the boarders are all 
new faces, only one Boston face, and he one with 
whom I do not wish to associate. Have delivered 
B. F. Wheelwright's letters, called on him in com- 
pany with Mr. Appleton. He is a likely looking 
and, I understand from Mr. A., a real business man. 
He is doing well. Have received one letter from 
Mr. Brewster this morning. I got here before me. 
Shall leave here Saturday morning for Philadelphia, 
where I hope to see a letter from you. The boat I 
came on leaves again at five this afternoon, and 
Deacon Lambert has kindly consented to take this 
and deliver it. Boston folks are frequently seen in the 
streets. I noticed a number in walking down Broad- 
way to Wall Street. My countenance is not changed 
much, as an old brother boarder recognized me at a 
distance. He seemed much pleased and wishes my 
company an evening, but my time is so employed 
I shall not be able to grant it. With love to your 
parents and sister, and much to you, I remain 
Your beloved husband, 



NEW YORK, March 20, 1829, 
Friday noon. 

MY DEAR WIFE, Having a few minutes time, 
and an opportunity of sending you, I improve it. 
The weather here is very dull and snowy. Saw Mr. 
Bogart in the street this forenoon. His wife came 
on the " Benjamin Franklin, " which left Providence 
yesterday afternoon, and arrived here at five o'clock. 
Passengers only twenty-four hours from Boston. 
Among them is Mr. Gray, of the firm of Hilliard, 
Gray, & Company. Left the letter for Messrs. 
Wards; they say they shall probably get the notes 
due from Elwell to your father. Mr. Lorenzo 
Draper is here, that left your street yesterday at five 
A. M., and also Mr. Benjamin French, and as they 
do not say anything about fires or other accidents, 
I presume all is safe. Am now bound up Broadway 
to Rev. Dr. Tyng's. With much love to all, 

Yours truly, 


PHILADELPHIA, March 14, 1833. 
Thursday morn. 

MY DEAR WIFE, I arrived here yesterday, as I 
had purposed, about three in the afternoon, having 
left New York at half-past six, arrived at Amboy by 
steamboat at nine, thence by railroad thirty-five 
miles to Bordentown, where we arrived at half-past 
twelve, thence by steamboat again to this city. The 



railroad cars carry twenty-four, and are drawn each 
by two horses. There were four cars that came, 
or ninety-six passengers. We met eight returning, 
or about two hundred passengers. I cannot say 
that I am used to it, or that it is more pleasant than 
stages. On the contrary, I prefer the latter; there 
is not the monotonous, continual rumbling in stages 
there is on a railroad. The latter, however, appear 
to be perfectly safe, more so if anything than stages. 

Your affectionate husband, 





to 1850, and from 1863 till his death. 

1854 till his death. 

CONCORD RAILROAD COMPANY. Director from 1846 to 

from 1868 to 1874. Vice-President from 1870 to 
1873. President in 1874. 


tor in 1877. 

Director from 1855 till his death. 

till his death. President from 1863 till his death. 

SOUTH COVE CORPORATION. Director from 1840 till his 
death. President from 1849 till his death. 

rector from 1877 till his death. 

TREMONT NAIL COMPANY. Director from 1858 to 1879. 
President from 1872 to 1879. 


1833 till 1869. Vice-President from 1869 till his 

Treasurer from 1833 to 1841. 

dent in 1874 and 1875. President in 1876 and 1877. 

Treasurer from 1859 to 1881. 
A REPUBLICAN INSTITUTION. Became a member in 1848. 

Was Director, Vice-President, and President. 
BOSTON DISPENSARY. Member of Board of Managers 

from 1838 till his death. 

MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY. Trustee from 1856 to 1865. 
OLD SOUTH SOCIETY. Member of Standing Committee 

from 1836 to 1857, being Chairman of the Committee 

from 1848 to 1856. 

He was also one of the original Corporators of the 
Franklin Savings Bank of the City of Boston ; an Over- 
seer of the Boston House of Correction ; a Trustee of 
the Boston Lying-in Hospital ; and a Member of the 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the New England 
Historic-Genealogical Society, the Bostonian Society, etc. 

The Honorary Degree of Master of Arts was con- 
ferred upon Mr. Crocker by Dartmouth College in 1866. 


WILLIAM CROCKER married ALICE in 1636. 

Their children were, 

JOHN, born May 1, 1637. 

ELIZABETH, born Sept. 22, 1639, died May 16, 


SAMUEL, born July 3, 1642. 
Job, born March 7, 1644, died March, 1719. 
JOSIAH, born Sept. 19, 1647. 
ELEAZER, born July 21, 1650. 
JOSEPH, born 1654. 

He married, secondly, PATIENCE, the widow of ROBERT 
PARKER and daughter of ELDER HENRY COBB. His will 
is dated Sept. 6, 1692. 

LEY in November, 1668. 

Their children were, 

A son, born Oct. 1669. 

Samuel, born May 15, 1671, died in 1718. 

THOMAS, born Jan. 19, 1674. 

He married, secondly, Hannah Taylor on July 19, 
1680, and their children were, 

MARY, born June 29, 1681. 
JOHN, born Feb. 24, 1683. 


HANNAH, born Feb. 2, 1685. 

ELIZABETH, born May 15, 1688. 

SARAH, born Jan. 19, 1690. 

JOB, born April 4, 1694, died May 24, 1731. 

DAVID, born Sept. 5, 1697. 

THANKFUL, born June 16, 1700. 

SAMUEL CROCKER, son of JOB, married SARAH 

Their children were, 

SAMUEL, born Dec. 12, 1697. 

CORNELIUS, born Oct. 24, 1698, died young. 

MARY, born April 8, 1700. 

PATIENCE, born April 18, 1701. 

ELIZABETH, born Feb. 21, 1703. 

Cornelius (2d), born Mar. 23, 1704, died Dec. 12, 


ROWLAND, born June 18, 1705. 
GERSHOM, bora Dec. 1706. 
EBENEZER, born June 5, 1710. 
BENJAMIN, born July, 1711. 

He also had a daughter, TABITHA, by a second wife, 

Their children were, 

ELIJAH, born April 12, 1729. 

ELISHA, born Sept. 14, 1730. 

SAMUEL, born July 29, 1732. 


JOSEPH, born April 12, 1734. 

LYDIA, born 1739. 

CORNELIUS, born Aug. 20, 1740. 

3o0iaij, born Dec. 30, 1744, died May 4, 1780. 

SARAH, bora 1749. 

BORAH DAVIS, daughter of DANIEL DAVIS, of Barn- 
stable, on October 6, 1765. 

Their children were, 

DEBORAH, born 1766. 

ROBERT, 1767. 

Uriel, born 1768, died April 12, 1813. 



URIEL CROCKER, son of JOSIAH, married, first, MARY 
EATON, daughter of ISRAEL EATON, of Marblehead, 
and, secondly, MARY JAMES, daughter of CAPT. RICH- 
ARD JAMES, of Marblehead, in February, 1792. 

The children of URIEL CROCKER and MARY JAMES 

MARY, born Nov. 22, 1792, died Jan. 2, 1876. 
RICHARD JAMES, born Oct. 19, 1794, died April, 1795. 
{Uriel, born Sept. 13, 1796, died July 19, 1887. 
DEBORAH, born Nov. 12, 1798, died Sept. 6, 1881. 
RICHARD JAMES, born Oct. 29, 1800, died March 

9, 1875. 

JOSIAH, born Nov. 9, 1802, died March 24, 1890. 
ABIGAIL, born Oct. 15, 1805, died July 25, 1889. 
FRANCIS BOARDMAN, April 17, 1808, died July 12, 

ELIZABETH JAMES, born Oct. 9, 1809, died April, 



DER HASKELL, daughter of ELIAS HASKELL, of Boston, 
on Feb. 11, 1829. 

Their children are, 

URIEL HASKELL, born Dec. 24, 1832. 
SARAH HASKELL, born Sept. 8, 1840. 
GEORGE GLOVER, born Dec. 15, 1843. 

Boston, on Jan. 15, 1861. 

Their children are, 

GEORGE URIEL, born Jan. 9, 1863. 
JOSEPH BALLARD, born July 8, 1867. 
EDGAR, born Oct. 22, 1873. 

KEEP, daughter of NATHAN C. KEEP, of Boston, on 
June 19, 1875. 

Their children are, 

GEORGE GLOVER, born April 16, 1877. 
MARGARET, born April 9, 1878. 
COURTENAY, born Feb. 4, 1881. 
MURIEL, born March 30, 1885. 
LYNEHAM, born Feb. 18, 1889. 

Providence, R. I., on Oct. 4 1887. 

They have a child, 

ELEANOR, born June 9, 1890. 

JFffttetj) annftoersarp 








[From the "Boston Courier," of Nov. 13, 1868.] 

ONE of the most singularly pleasant social gath- 
erings of which it is possible to conceive took 
place on Monday evening of last week at the house 
of one of our citizens. It was to celebrate the anni- 
versary of the formation of a business firm the 
foundations of whose honorable and prosperous 
career were well laid long before Boston became a 
city, and when the inhabitants were contented 
with the name and well-earned reputation of the 
Town of Boston. The old publishing house of 
Crocker & Brewster, in brief, commemorated the 
fiftieth anniversary of the formation of their long- 
respected partnership; and, considering the many 
interesting circumstances of its history and especially 
the survivorship of both partners, after this pro- 
tracted period, in good health, still carrying on the 
business, and with the apparent promise of years yet 
before them (a case of very rare occurrence, espe- 


cially in this country), the event well deserved to be 
celebrated by a cheerful festival. Accordingly mul- 
titudes of friends, old and new, as well ladies as 
gentlemen, were delighted to come together on the 
evening in question under the hospitable roof of Mr. 
Uriel Crocker, the senior, though not much the 
senior, partner of the firm. Among the guests of 
various professions and occupations, printers, pub- 
lishers, bank-presidents, merchants, and others, - 
were Hon. Samuel Hooper, member of Congress ; our 
present mayor, Dr. Shurtleff, and his predecessors 
in office, Messrs. Rice, Lincoln, Wightman, and 
Norcross; and Hon. Charles Theodore Russell, who 
formerly served Cambridge in the same capacity. 
These few names, out of many, will show that repre- 
sentatives of all parties were present; and it was 
extremely pleasant to observe that all diversities of 
opinion seemed to be forgotten, and that all present 
met on a common footing of friendly intercourse. 

Nowhere but in New England, and perhaps in 
Scotland, could precisely such a party have taken 
place. A certain vein of what was most praise- 
worthy in Puritanism mingled not at all inharmo- 
niously with the festivities of the hour. After time 
had been allowed for a full flow of conversation, the 
attention of the assembled guests was called to a 
ceremony peculiarly fitting the occasion. The re- 
spected partners stood together in the centre of the 
room, and Rev. Dr. Blagden, of the Old South 
Church, long the pastor of both these gentlemen, 


addressed them. We understand that the excellent 
clergyman had been informed that he would be 
expected to offer prayer; but a change in the ar- 
rangements was thought best after the guests came 
together, and Dr. Blagden's address, therefore, was 
quite extemporaneous. We have never heard one 
more truly appropriate and impressive, and the whole 
scene was, indeed, peculiarly but most agreeably 
affecting. Mr. Crocker responded at length, and 
it gives us much pleasure to print his remarks, not 
only on account of the singular interest of the simple 
narrative, but because of the beautiful and salutary 
lesson which it sets forth. At the conclusion of the 
exercises the company repaired to the bountifully 
spread tables; and here the Eev. Dr. Anderson 
offered a brief and fervent prayer, to which every 
heart, we are sure, responded. As the hour grew 
later, the older guests began to retire, but the 
younger ones remained and enjoyed the music of the 
fine band in attendance. All the incidents were, in- 
deed, of very uncommon interest, of a character 
one is rarely permitted to enjoy with such unalloyed 
pleasure, which none who were present would have 
willingly missed, and to which all will look back 
with heartful satisfaction. 



great pleasure to be honored as the medium of your 
many friends here present this evening, in congratu- 
lating you, as I heartily do, on the arrival of this fif- 
tieth anniversary of your connection, as partners, in 
the business of life. And I cannot omit the duty, 
either as a man or as a minister, of uniting with 
you and your friends in thanking God that he has 
so preserved and prospered you as to allow of your 
meeting us under such happy circumstances, with 
your children and children's children around you. 

It is not often, gentlemen, that two partners are 
permitted to meet thus, in an unbroken partnership, 
after half a century of years. And it speaks much 
in favor of the good temper of each of you that, after 
all the toils, temptations, and trials of business you 
now meet us so harmoniously. It illustrates, in part, 
the truth of the proverb, " He that is slow to anger 
is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his 
own spirit, than he that taketh a city." 

It is also a subject of congratulation for us and 
for you, on this occasion, to think and speak of the 
nature of the calling in which you have both been 
engaged. It has been in the occupation of spreading 
abroad good learning in the minds of your fellow- 
citizens and neighbors, in the country and the com- 


monwealth; and there is not, probably, a family of 
your many friends represented here this evening, the 
members of which have not been benefited by the 
kinds of useful knowledge you have been engaged 
in sending through the community. 

I may also, in behalf of all here present, speak to 
you as printers and booksellers in our common- 
wealth. I understand that the venerated Isaiah 
Thomas of Worcester, was the teacher and guide of 
several of the old firms in your profession in this 
city, as well as of the late lamented Mr. Armstrong, 
under whose auspices you were both prepared and 
introduced into your calling. And I remember that 
seven years ago, if I am not mistaken, you enjoyed 
an occasion, when I could not be present, of com- 
memorating the beginning of your mutual appren- 
ticeship with him. So that to-night we may recall 
together not only fifty, but fifty-seven years of life 
in which you have been happily associated with each 
other. As we think with you now of those departed 
years, I am reminded of a true and beautiful senti- 
ment of Wordsworth, not inappropriate to this 
hour : 

" My heart leaps up when I behold 
A rainbow in the sky. 

So was it when my life began ; 

So is it now I am a man ; 

So let it be when I grow old, 
Or let me die. 

The child is father of the man ; 

And I would wish my days to be 

Bound each to each by natural piety." 


I trust, gentlemen, that your days may be thus 
bound together by a true as well as a natural piety. 
Then, when you shall be called home, and late may 
it be ! your children and your children's children 
will arise up and call you blessed. But indeed, 
gentlemen, I am happy to see, as we look on both of 
you, that there seems to be in you, as soldiers some- 
times say, a decade of campaigns yet for fighting in 
the battle of life. 

Let me again congratulate you, as I take your 
hands, not only for these many friends, but also for 
myself personally, on the arrival and enjoyment of 
this happy occasion. "The Lord bless and keep 
you, and be gracious unto you ; the Lord lift up his 
countenance upon you, and give you peace. " 


FOB some reason or other old printers have a 
habit of telling, and sometimes of publishing, long 
stories about themselves. One of them called his 
book "The Life and Errors of John Dunton," in 
which, by the way, he gives an account of his visit 
to our Boston upwards of one hundred and eighty 
years ago. I have no intention of rivalling him, or 
Benjamin Franklin, or Joseph T. Buckingham, or 
Charles Knight, or Peter Parley, in autobiography; 
but, on such an occasion as this, the thoughts will run 
back to old times ; and perhaps I shall be pardoned 


if I talk a little while about myself, or I would rather 
say about the firm of Crocker & Brewster. 

Mr. Brewster and I first met in the year 1811, as 
apprentices of the late Samuel T. Armstrong. It 
was in the old building which stood on the same lot 
where we spent fifty-four of the fifty-seven years 
that we have been together, the old number being 
50 Cornhill; that is, old Cornhill, now forming a 
part of Washington Street. We left it only three 
years ago, when we removed to the adjoining store. 
I had been an apprentice about two months when 
Mr. Brewster came. It was pleasant to see him, as 
it removed from me the title which the youngest 
apprentice in a printing-office has affixed to his name. 
I well remember how the young apprentice looked, 
a plump, red-cheeked boy, giving good promise of 
the healthy and manly proportions into which he 
afterwards expanded. I do not care about hearing 
his description of my appearance at that time. 

Our relations to each other and to Mr. Armstrong, 
during our apprenticeship, were very pleasant. Mr. 
Brewster and I were the two youngest of the eight 
apprentices in the office ; and we, together with Mr. 
Parker, who, I am happy to say, is here to-night, 
are the only ones who now remain. Our partnership 
with Mr. Armstrong commenced Nov. 1, 1818, and 
continued till April 1, 1825, when it was dissolved. 
We were, however, after this time more or less con- 
nected with him until his complete withdrawal from 
all business in 1840; and his daily visits to our 


counting-room continued till the very day of his 
death. Of Mr. Brewster and myself the fellowship 
in business and in friendship will, I trust, never be 
dissolved. During all the days of the seven years of 
our apprenticeship and of our fifty years of partner- 
ship I have never received one unkind word from him, 
nor do I believe that he ever received one from me. 
If he did, I certainly never intended it, as I know 
that he never deserved it. As I think of our con- 
nection for fifty-seven years as partners and friends, 
I cannot be too grateful to one whom I always found 
so faithful and so kind. You will, therefore, excuse 
me if I take from the Good Book a text for each of 
my children to remember : u Thine own friend, and 
thy father's friend, forsake not." 

On Nov. 1, 1818 just fifty years ago yesterday 
our partnership agreement was drawn up and wit- 
nessed by Jeremiah Evarts, the father of William 
M. Evarts, the present attorney-general of the United 
States. Mr. Evarts was pale and slender, and in 
this respect, and in general features, was much like 
his son. He also would have been distinguished in 
law and in politics, if he had not chosen to devote 
himself, for the latter part of his life, to religious 
objects only. 

In the arrangement of our business, Mr. Brewster 
attended chiefly to the bookstore. I directed the 
printing-office, the latter having been wholly in my 
charge since I was eighteen years of age. The 
numerous persons in our employ, and there were 


in former years from twenty-five to thirty in the 
printing-office alone, were paid in full every Satur- 
day night. This rule we have constantly adhered to. 
The funds of the firm have always been in charge of 
Mr. Brewster, who from them, I am happy to say, 
has always been able and willing to supply the " food 
and raiment " wants of the poor printer, his partner. 
However idle we may have been lately, we gave to 
our business for many years all our industry and 
skill ; and we have always been so successful as to 
be able promptly to meet all our liabilities, and this 
too without having ever paid one dollar of extra 
interest; and I am glad to add that we never re- 
ceived one. 

We once, however, came very near being compelled 
to pay extra interest. One of our insurance compa- 
nies l had elected to the office of president a man 
whom I had long known. He was very desirous I 
should become a stockholder in his company, and thus 
aid him in his new office, which I did. This office 
had banking privileges for one half of its capital, 
and he requested that, when I wanted funds, I should 
borrow them at his office. Our firm, accordingly, 
once borrowed of him several thousand dollars, giv- 
ing good bank-stock as collateral. When the money 
became due, he did not wish it paid, though we were 
ready, and expected to pay it. At his desire we let 
it remain for nearly two years, when, the money 
market being very tight (this was in 1836), he 

1 The National Insurance Company is here referred to. 


availed himself of the opportunity to demand its pay- 
ment, or interest at two per cent a month, stating 
that there was another firm that would take the 
money at that rate. We, however, fortunately were 
able, and paid the note. Shortly afterwards, Mr. 
Joseph T. Buckingham, the editor of the " Courier, " in 
a conversation with me on the scarcity of money and 
the high rate of interest, said that he had received 
several communications complaining that this insur- 
ance office was loaning money and exacting more 
than the legal interest. I thereupon stated that I 
had no doubt of it; that the company in question 
had demanded two per cent a month of us. This, he 
at once said, ought to be and should be published. 
Against this I remonstrated, saying that he must not 
publish it till he had liberty from my partner, whom 
I would consult ; but, without waiting to hear from 
me, an article appeared on the following morning 
in the "Courier," giving the name of the insurance 
company in full; and the facts were stated in Mr. 
Buckingham's strong and severe style. 1 The presi- 
dent of the company called on him, and I was given 
as the authority. The president then called on me, 
and in a loud and excited manner stated that it was 
a false and libellous article, and ordered me to con- 
tradict it at once, or I should be prosecuted for a 
libel on the company, and should suffer the severest 

1 The article here referred to may be found in the " Boston 
Courier" of Thursday, Dec. 8, 1836. Further articles on the 
same subject appeared in the same paper on Dec. 10 and Dec. 13. 


penalties of the law for that offence. I frankly stated 
that I had not desired its publication; but it was 
published, it was true, and I could not and should 
not contradict one word. He then said he should 
call a meeting of his directors that day, who would 
pass votes that would injure my character and credit, 
and place me where I ought to be. I thereupon 
politely opened the door, and requested him to pro- 
ceed forthwith, asserting that I was ready and will- 
ing to meet the case before his directors and before 
the public. In the forenoon, as I went down State 
Street, I found several parties of gentlemen talking 
about the article in the "Courier." I called on a 
director of the company, and requested him to put 
one question when the board assembled. This he 
promised to do, and did. The question was, Has 
this office ever taken extra interest ? And when put, 
it was answered in the affirmative. This was pro- 
nounced by all to be wrong; it was agreed that it 
could not be sustained, and that the charter of the 
company was in jeopardy, if not forfeited ; and the 
meeting ended without having been formally organ- 
ized. The next day the " Courier " had an additional 
article even more severe, which was followed by 
others. Shortly afterwards the directors of the com- 
pany came together and passed votes ordering all 
extra interest that had been taken to be refunded, 
and it was done. 

When the legislature next came together, which 
was in about a month, they appointed a committee 


to investigate the subject. The committee called on 
me for evidence, but at my particular request, the 
chairman being my namesake and friend, and on 
my statement of the facts, that the extra interest 
had all been returned, that it was taken by the 
finance committee without the knowledge of the 
board of directors, who had wholly disapproved of 
it, and that the finance committee had been changed, 
no further action was had. At the time of this oc- 
currence it was generally stated and believed that the 
distribution of a million of dollars in State Street 
would not have eased the money market as much as 
the " Courier's " article had done. 

Once we were suddenly exposed to great embar- 
rassment by our confidence in the honor of a wealthy 
citizen. He had promised to give twenty thousand 
dollars to a charitable society * for the erection of a 
building suitable for its use, but had added as a con- 
dition that an equal sum should be given by others. 
As another rich man gave assurance that he would 
see that sum raised, the first promise was regarded 
as a certain gift ; and the munificence of the donor 
was trumpeted throughout the country. A suitable 
estate being offered, the society bought it, mortgag- 
ing it for the amount of the purchase-money. But 
the times became hard, and the promised donations 
not being realized, it was resolved to delay the erec- 
tion of the building, and to make additions and im- 

1 The society here referred to was the Massachusetts Chari- 
table Mechanic Association. 


pro vements on the property, by which an income 
could be secured. These alterations and improve- 
ments, after using all their funds, brought the society 
into debt for materials, labor, interest, and taxes, to 
the amount of about thirty thousand dollars. The 
purchase and other proceedings were all not only 
approved, but expressly advised, by the liberal prom- 
iser. In consequence of the additional amount not 
having been subscribed none of his money was forth- 
coming ; but he pledged himself that the whole sum 
needed to meet the liabilities of the society should 
be loaned to it on a second mortgage of the improved 
property by a moneyed institution in which he 
claimed to have a controlling influence, though he 
said that the absence of an officer of that institution 
would cause a little delay. In the meantime the 
workmen and others demanded payment ; the society 
could not raise money on its own credit, damaged 
by the project of building; and, in an hour of per- 
haps foolish zeal for the society's good name, in 
which we felt an interest, we (that is, Crocker & 
Brewster) gave our indorsement on the treasurer's 
notes for a short time for a sum sufficient to meet 
the liabilities. These notes were discounted by the 
banks, and the debts were paid. This we were 
urged to do by the promiser of the donation himself, 
who gave his pledge to us personally that the money 
should be furnished on the mortgage in season, and 
that no embarrassment should be caused to us by 
our indorsements. His promises were repeated till 


the day when the first note for ten thousand dollars 
was due ; but after all not a dollar was provided by 
him, and we were left to meet, as best we could, 
that note and the other obligations due a few days 
later. Money was then (this was in November, 
1847), at two per cent a month, but we were able to 
sustain our credit and that of the society, and that, 
too, without the payment of any extra interest. Here 
ended the connection of the munificent promiser 
with the society. The other gentleman having failed 
to raise the other amount, no legal claim existed 
against him. Fortunately the estate 1 purchased 
proved to be a good investment. After some years 
we were repaid our advancements from the rents 
which have since added largely to the funds of the 
society. We suppose that many now believe that 
the promiser really gave the twenty thousand dollars, 
when, in fact, his unfulfilled promise put in jeopardy 
those who interposed to save the property and credit 
of the society. 

The first large work we published was Scott's 
Family Bible in six royal octavo volumes. This 
was stereotyped, and I believe it was the first large 
work that was stereotyped in this country. It was 
a great experiment for those days (1820) ; and many 
of the older booksellers prophesied that we should 
not be successful. We contracted to pay the stereo- 

1 This estate is that on which the Revere House now stands, 
the estate having been bought originally for a hall for the Massa- 
chusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. 


tjper eighty per cent in cash each week for the work 
done, and the remaining twenty per cent on the 
completion of each volume. We were then young 
and active; and, having thrown our all into this 
undertaking, we put forth all our energies, and the 
result was entirely satisfactory. Our business being 
extended by this and other publications, we thought 
it advisable to have a store in New York City, and 
we took one on Broadway, near Maiden Lane, plac- 
ing in it one who had been an apprentice and clerk 
with us. We hired the store, furnished all the 
capital, and agreed to give him one half the profits, 
guaranteeing to him at least one thousand dollars a 
year as his share. The partnership was for five 
years. At the end of that time, as the accounts 
rendered by him did not meet our expectations, and 
as he had intimated that he would like to purchase 
our interest, I went to New York for the purpose of 
examining his books, taking an account of the stock, 
and looking thoroughly into the business, when, to 
my astonishment, I found sufficient cause for the 
unsatisfactory state of affairs. Our money, instead 
of being used in the business, had been employed in 
purchasing various kinds of fancy stocks and twenty- 
six house-lots in the upper part of the city. In con- 
sequence of these discoveries, though I had purposed 
to be absent from Boston but six or seven days, I 
was obliged to remain in New York as many months. 
I finally disposed of the property to Messrs. Jonathan 
Leavitt and Daniel Appleton, who were brothers- 


in-law. Mr. Leavitt had been a book-binder in 
Andover, Mass., and was, of course, somewhat ac- 
quainted with printing and with books. Mr. Apple- 
ton had been a dry goods merchant in Boston, and at 
that time knew nothing of either. The business was 
done in the name of Jonathan Leavitt. After hav- 
ing been together for several years, Leavitt and 
Appleton divided the property, Mr. Appleton remov- 
ing to a store a few doors distant, where he carried 
on the business in his own name. Mr. Appleton, 
having capital, entered largely into the importation 
of English books and was very successful. The 
business is still carried on by his sons, and theirs is 
probably at present the largest publishing house in 
the United States. Mr. Leavitt was also very suc- 
cessful for a time, but subsequently was not so for- 
tunate as his partner. They have both deceased. 

It is not for me to speak of the character of our 
numerous publications. We believe that they have 
done some good in the world, and it is pleasant for 
an old printer, when thinking of the many millions 
of pages that have issued from his press, to know that 
there is 

" Not one immoral, one corrupting thought, 
No line which, dying, he could wish to blot." 

I have referred to one case of unfaithfulness in 
an agent. We have, however, had but little to do 
with the courts of law, although there have been 
several other cases which would have fully justified 
an appeal to them. Twice only have we found it 


necessary to prosecute the wrong-doers, and in both 
these cases the frauds were clearly proved and satis- 
factory verdicts and good judgments were obtained 
in our favor. We were never sued but once. The 
charges against us in that case were some of them 
in direct contradiction to written documents, and all 
of them were capable of being disproved by the most 
positive testimony. After we had answered every 
charge in the bill of complaint, and had waited long 
and impatiently, and found the plaintiff not disposed 
to bring the case to a hearing, we took measures our- 
selves to compel an early trial, when the plaintiff 
chose to withdraw the suit, and to pay all the costs 
and the balance of our account as claimed by us, 
rather than risk the consequences of a full and pub- 
lic hearing. 

For myself, I have been contented with my busi- 
ness and family engagements, and have been willing 
to let public life alone. For some reason or other 
my partners have not been willing to confine them- 
selves within these limits. Mr. Brewster perhaps 
inherited his zeal for the good government of the 
city and for the right management of public charities 
from his ancestor, the old Elder Brewster, that 
strange but worthy compound of the English gentle- 
man, Dutch printer, Old Colony preacher, ruling 
elder, and magistrate. For the last twenty-seven 
years Mr. Brewster has had the care of the funds of 
the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, 
in which time they have increased from thirty-three 


thousand to two hundred and twenty-five thousand 
dollars, reckoning the actual cost of the present in- 
vestments, while the real value of them is much 
greater. He is president of another charitable so- 
ciety and of a savings bank, and has been an alder- 
man of our city, a director of its public institutions, 
and a representative and senator in our State govern- 
ment. I have never heard, however, of his having 
been, as the elder Brewster was, a preacher. 

Mr. Armstrong held the offices of alderman and 
mayor of our city. He was also representative, 
senator, and lieutenant and acting governor of our 
State. His whole public life was, I think, honor- 
able to him. Having named him again, I wish to 
say that the whole connection of Mr. Brewster and 
myself with him was pleasant, and our mutual con- 
fidence unlimited. We knew him intimately. He 
was true, he was honest, he was kind and generous. 
I will give one illustration of his character. When 
he built his house on Beacon Street, he made a 
contract with a builder to do all the work for a cer- 
tain sum. The builder fulfilled his contract faith- 
fully, but it cost him nearly five thousand dollars 
more than the contract price, and he was unable to 
meet the liabilities incurred by him for materials 
for the building. In this state of the case Mr. 
Armstrong wished me to look over the bills and 
vouchers. I did so, and was satisfied that they were 
all correct. He then asked my opinion as to what 
he ought to do. He clearly was under no legal obli- 


gation to pay more than the contract price, and I did 
not wish to give any advice in the matter ; but as he 
urged it, I told him frankly my opinion, which was 
that he had better pay the full actual cost of the 
house. "Then," said he, "you really think I had 
better pay it, though I am not bound to do so." 
After thinking a minute or so, he said, "I have 
asked your advice, and you never gave me wrong 
counsel. To-morrow is my birthday, the 29th of 
April. If you will come to the office at eleven 
o'clock (he was then mayor of the city, and his office 
was in the old State House) I will give my check for 
the whole amount, and you shall go and settle it for 
me. " And this was done. Few of those who make 
loud professions of honor and liberality can point in 
their own lives to an action so truly honorable. 

I should be glad to speak of others, of every variety 
of character and profession, with whom we have 
been associated more or less intimately during this 
half-century of active life. But especially would I 
gladly name many of the trade, our brethren of the 
printing-office and book -shop, the dead and the liv- 
ing. We have known their worth. We love to 
cherish the precious memories of the dead, and we 
greatly value the friendship of the living. May our 
friends pardon the numerous errata which they have 
seen in us, and let us hope, in the words of Frank- 
lin's proposed epitaph on himself, that we may all 
of us at last appear in new and better editions, 
revised and corrected by the Author. 




JUNE 18, 1888. 


A T the annual meeting of the Bunker Hill Monument 
" Association, held June 18, 1888, the President, the 
Hon. CHARLES DEVENS, in his annual address, thus re- 
ferred to the death of Mr. CROCKER, who had deceased 
during the previous year. 

ME. URIEL CROCKER died at his summer residence 
in Cohasset, on July 19, 1887, at the advanced age of 
nearly ninety-one years. His name has stood at the 
head of our list of Vice-presidents for many years. 
He was earnestly urged to accept the position of 
President, especially so on the retirement of Mr. 
Winthrop, but, for reasons personal to himself, he 
felt it his duty to decline. To Mr. Crocker the 
association is under many obligations. In the many 
pecuniary difficulties which attended the erection of 
the monument, he was conspicuous by his exertions 
to accomplish the important work. He was treas- 
urer of the fund which was raised among the mem- 
bers of the Mechanics' Association for the completion 
of the monument. He was elected a director of this 
association in 1833, and continued in that position 
or in that of Vice-president, to which he was chosen 



in 1869, to the day of his death. On the occasion 
of the completion of fifty years of this service Mr. 
Winthrop, then our President, at our meeting in 
1883 said, and the call was heartily responded to: 
"I call upon you all to rise and unite with me 
in offering our thanks and congratulations to our 
valued associate and excellent fellow-citizen arid 
friend, Uriel Crocker, and in expressing the earnest 
hope that he may long be spared in health and 
strength, not only to this association, but to the 
community in which he has been so conspicuous an 
example of that industry, integrity, public spirit, 
and patriotism, which have characterized and distin- 
guished the mechanics of Boston from the days of 
their illustrious leader, Paul Revere." Mr. Crocker 
was to live more than four years after this well- 
deserved compliment, in the full enjoyment of health 
and intellect. Those who were present at our meet- 
ing in 1885 will recollect a pleasant speech, contain- 
ing some reminiscences of Lafayette, made by him 
in connection with a quite unpremeditated conversa- 
tion that arose as to that distinguished friend of 
America. To-day we are not to see the delightful 
smile and the kind, gracious manner, or to feel the 
cordial grasp of the hand with which he always 
greeted us on this anniversary. The day was to him 
one of deep feeling. It gave him pleasure to meet 
us here, to welcome us, as he often did, to the gener- 
ous hospitality of his house, and to converse on the 
great deed that the day commemorates. 


Mr. Crocker was born in Marblehead on Sept. 13, 
1796, and was closely related to General Glover of 
Revolutionary fame. He had received the best edu- 
cation, short of a collegiate one, which the academies 
of that day afforded. He entered the printing and 
publishing establishment of Samuel T. Armstrong in 
September, 1811, at fifteen years of age. Two months 
later there came to the same establishment another 
boy somewhat less than a year younger than himself, 
the son of a physician in Western Massachusetts. 
I need not say that this was our honored associate, 
Mr. Osmyn Brewster. Most cordially, in the name 
and by the authority of all, I am sure, I welcome 
him to his seat among us to-day, rejoicing that his 
life is still spared to the community which loves and 
respects him. Between these boys there arose that 
friendship which was to endure to the end of their 
lives. Reared in the best home teaching and influ- 
ences of the New England families of the time, their 
friendship had its solid basis in the respect which 
each had for industry, for capacity, and for unswerv- 
ing honesty. About the time of their majority they 
became partners with Mr. Armstrong, but soon pur- 
chased his interest, and formed the partnership 
which was so long and so well known, as printers 
and publishers. They were partners in active busi- 
ness from 1818 to 1876, the long period of fifty-eight 
years. During these years there issued from their 
presses and their publishing-rooms a large number 
of standard works, almost all of an educational or 


religious nature. Their imprint is scattered on 
many thousands of volumes, which yet are carefully 
kept and treasured in the land ; but it will be found 
on no book of doubtful character or of questionable 
morality. It was with a just and most honorable 
pride that Mr. Crocker was able to say, at a little 
festival commemorating their partnership: "It is 
not for me to speak of the character of our numer- 
ous publications. We believe that they have done 
some good in the world, and it is a pleasure to an 
old printer, when thinking of the many millions of 
pages that have issued from his press, to know 
there is 

" 'Not one immoral, one corrupting thought, 
No line which, dying, he could wish to blot/ " 

Mr. Crocker did not confine the sphere of his activ- 
ity to his immediate business solely. He was inter- 
ested in railroad matters, alike in those which con- 
cern the business of Boston and in those at a greater 
distance. Clear-sighted and sagacious, his abilities 
as a director were often called into requisition, and 
in some of these companies he served for many 

The charitable and philanthropic societies found 
in him always a ready and helpful worker. It was 
permitted to Mr. Crocker and Mr. Brewster to cele- 
brate together in November, 1886, their first meet- 
ing as boys, seventy-five years before. They then 
received side by side the congratulations not merely 
of their families and friends, but of many of our 


most eminent citizens. Since that day one has 
gone, one yet remains, and we trust may long remain 
with us ; but it is pleasant to remember, as to each 
of these noble veterans on the well-fought field of 
life, that all 

" which should accompany old age, 
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends," 

all have been theirs. 





THE following copy of an old Catalogue, printed in 
1830, will show the character of the early publications 
of the firm. 




MAKCH, 1830. 

Trade Retail 
Price. Price. 

Allan M'Leod. By Charlotte Elizabeth. 18mo. 

Bound 19 .38 

Butterworth's Concordance to the Holy Scriptures, 
with considerable Corrections and Improve- 
ments. 8vo. Bound 1.25 2.50 

Burder's Sermons for Children. 18mo. Bound . .31 .63 

Catechist, containing the Parables of the Unjust 

Steward, &c. 18mo. Bound 31 .63 

Course of Time, with an Analysis, Argument, 

Index, &c. 12mo. Boards 33 .75 

Cogswell's Assistant to Family Religion, with 
Prayers, Psalms, Hymns, Select Harmony, &c. 
12mo. Bound 83 1.25 

Cecil's Works, complete in 3 vols. 12mo. Bound 3.60 6.00 


Trade Retail 

Cecil's Remains, with a View of his Character. Price - price - 
12mo. Bound 44 .88 

Chalmer's Discourses on the Application of Chris- 
tianity to the Commercial and Ordinary Affairs 
of Life. 12mo. Bound 50 1.00 

Cox's History of an Old Pocket Bible. 18mo. 

Bound 25 .50 

Christian's Consolation, or the Preciousness of 

Christ to those who believe. 18mo. Bound . .31 .63 

Codman's Hymns and Prayers for Family Wor- 
ship. 24mo. Bound 31 .63 

Choice Pleasures for Youth, in a Series of Letters 

from a Father to his Son. 18ino. Bound . . .19 .38 

Caroline Lindsay, or Laird's Daughter. 18mo. 

Bound 19 .38 

Conversations on Botany, by the author of Con- 
versations on Chemistry, with Questions, Notes, 
&c. By Rev. J. L. Blake. In pre>s. 

Douglas's Hints on Missions. 18mo. Boards . . ;19 .38 

Decision, or Religion must be All or is Nothing. 

18mo. Bound 19 .38 

Erskine on the Unconditional Freeness of the 

Gospel. 18mo. Boards 38 .75 

Emerson's Evangelical Primer. 18mo. Paper 

covers 08 .13 

Emerson's Union Catechism founded upon Scrip- 
ture History. 12mo. Paper covers .... .25 .38 

Foster's Essay on the Importance of considering 

the Subject of Religion. 12mo. Boards . . .38 .75 

Foster's Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance. 

12mo. Boards 56 1.13 

Father Clement, By Author of Decision. Bound .38 .75 

Farmer's Daughter, an Authentic Narrative. 

18mo. Bound 19 .88 

Freedom of the Mind demanded of American 
Freemen, being Lectures to the Lyceum on the 
Improvement of the People. By Rev. Samuel 
Nott, Jr. In press. 


Trade Retail 

Dr. Griffin's Lectures delivered in Park Street Price - Price - 
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BORN, APRIL 2, 1768. 


ELIAS HASKELL was born in Harvard, April 2, 
1768, and died in Boston, Sept. 8, 1857. His 
father, who was also named Elias, died in Lancaster, 
Mass., on July 2, 1811, aged seventy -six years and 
six months. His mother was Sarah, a daughter of 
Enoch Kidder, of Billerica. His brothers and sisters 
were Moses, Betsey, who married a Mr. Jewett, of 
Gardiner, Maine, and Sally, who married Joseph 
Buffum, of Westmoreland, N. H. His father mar- 
ried a second time, and by his second wife had four 
children, John, William, Susan, who married a 
Mr. Wood, and Lucy, who married a Mr. Pond, of 
Athol, Mass. His grandfather, Joseph Haskell, was 
born in Gloucester, in 1698, but removed to Har- 
vard, where he died in 1791. This Joseph Haskell 
was the great-grandson of William Haskell, who 
was born in England in 1617, and came to Beverly 
in 1632, but soon afterwards moved to Gloucester. 

The following extract from a "History of Fitch- 
burg," by Rufus C. Torrey, published in 1836, shows 
that the father of Elias Haskell was at one time a 


man of some wealth and prominence: "A Judge 
Oliver of Salem owned a range of lots commencing 
on Cowden's land near the Fox House, so-called, 
and thence extending on the river to where Phillips 
brook unites with the Nashua. This tract embraced 
the whole of the village (of Fitchburg) and of Crock- 
ersville. He also owned a tract a mile square on 
Dean Hill, so-called, in the westerly part of the 
town. Judge Oliver or his heirs sold both these 
tracts to Elias Haskell, who came to this town and 
built the house now owned by Captain Dean. This 
Haskell, by selling lots and loaning his money, was 
reported to be very rich, but he was doomed to expe- 
rience a reverse of fortune; he was compelled to 
receive his pay in the pernicious paper currency of 
the times, which depreciated so rapidly that it soon 
came to be but little better than brown paper. He 
afterwards purchased a small sandy farm in the 
northeasterly part of Lancaster, where he lived for 
some years and died in poverty. " 1 The tradition in 
the family represents that it was a sense of patriot- 
ism and a confidence that the national government 
would meet in full all its obligations that led Mr. 
Haskell to take and keep the paper money that finally 
proved to be worthless. 

Elias Haskell was married on Oct. 11, 1796, by the 
Rev. William Emerson, of Harvard, to Lucy (born 
Feb. 9, 1776, died Feb. 18, 1861) daughter of John 

1 History of Fitchburg, ed. 1836, pp. 57, 58; ed. 1865, pp. 64, 
65 ; see also p. 92. 


and Hannah Priest. She had two sisters, one of 
whom, Mary, married Jonathan Sawyer, of Harvard; 
and the other, Mercy, married Reuben Whitcomb, 
of the same town. The only children of Elias and 
Lucy Haskell were Hannah Priest, born July 8, 
1798, died unmarried, Nov. 14, 1886, and Sarah 
Kidder, born Sept. 28, 1805, married Uriel Crocker, 
Feb. 11, 1829, and died Jan. 16, 1856. 

From memoranda left by Mr. Haskell we find that 
he began to keep house on Oct. 12, 1796, in a building 
owned by Captain Pollard in the middle of the town 
of Harvard. In April, 1798, he moved to a house 
in the same town, owned by Deacon Israel Whitney. 
On Nov. 27, 1798, he moved to Boston, and lived in 
a house on Russell Street owned by Osgood & 
Whitney; on Jan. 14, 1800, he moved into a house 
on Cambridge Street, owned by the same parties; 
in 1806, he moved to another house on the same 
street owned by Captain William Kempton ; and on 
Nov. 23, 1823, he moved into the house No. 10 
Staniford Street, owned by Mr. George Odin, in 
which he, and his widow after his death, resided for 
the remainder of their lives. He lived as an appren- 
tice with Benjamin Kimball from Aug. 14, 1784, to 
April 2, 1789. " Then let myself to said Kimball 
to April 2, 1791. " He then became a partner with 
Mr. Kimball, and remained so until Jan. 2, 1798, 
Mr. Simon Whitney having been admitted to the firm 
on March 28, 1795. Thus far his place of business 
had been in Harvard or in Fitchburg.. On May 14, 


1798, he commenced business in Boston with Simon 
Whitney. This partnership lasted until Oct. 30, 

1799. From Nov. 5, 1799, to Nov. 3, 1800, he car- 
ried on business under the firm of Stephen Gibson 
& Company in Osgood & Whitney's house. Then 
he recommenced business with Mr. Whitney in 
the same house, and on Oct. 4, 1804, he bought of 
Osgood & Whitney for seven thousand dollars their 
storehouse and outhouses, together with the laud 
thereto belonging. In 1809 he dissolved his partner- 
ship with Whitney and formed a partnership with 
Luther Faulkner under the style of Faulkner & 
Haskell. This lasted till 1811. On June 15, 1815, 
he formed a partnership with Francis A. Foxcroft 
under the name of Francis A. Foxcroft & Company. 
This was dissolved by the death of Mr. Foxcroft on 
April 7, 1818. On July 30, 1818, he began to do 
business under the firm of Haskell, Calef, & Thacher, 
but this copartnership was terminated in 1819 by the 
death of Mr. Uriah Calef. On July 19, 1819, the 
firm of Haskell, Barnard, & Thacher was formed, 
which had its place of business on Central Wharf, 
and lasted till July 30, 1829. On that day Mr. 
Haskell formed a partnership with Mr. William 
Thacher, under the style of Haskell & Thacher, 
and this lasted till the death of Mr. Thacher, on 
Jan. 29, 1831. Finally on March 1, 1831, he formed 
with Mr. Frederic Clark the firm of Haskell & 
Clark, which lasted until Mr. Clark's death, on Aug. 
3, 1835. He called Mr. Clark his "last partner." 


Mr. Haskell was always known during the later 
years of his life as "Deacon Haskell," having been 
for nearly forty years a deacon of the West Church, 
of which the Rev. Charles Lowell was pastor. The 
business which he carried on with so many different 
partners was that of a grocer. He was a small, 
slight, and active man, and the two miniatures on 
ivory of him and his wife, now in the possession of 
the family, are very good portraits of them as they 
appeared in their later years. His business ventures 
were never very successful, and he failed to accumu- 
late any considerable property. 

Copy of a letter from Rev. Dr. Lowell to Uriel 
Crocker, relative to the death of Deacon Haskell. 

DEAR SIR, Most deeply am I grieved by the sad 
intelligence you communicate to me in your note of this 
day. For more than half a century I have been con- 
nected with Mr. Haskell as his pastor, and for nearly 
forty years he has sustained the important and honorable 
office of a deacon in the church. Circumstances have led 
to my having a more than ordinary intimacy with him 
and his excellent family, and in every station and rela- 
tion in life, in which I have known him, he has manifested 
unwavering fidelity to duty, having, as I truly believe, 
the testimony of his conscience that in simplicity and 
godly sincerity he had his conversation in the world. A 
good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children. 
Such an inheritance has our dear departed friend be- 


queathed to his. May they value and improve it as they 
ought ! Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. They 
rest from their labors and their works do follow them. 
The memory of the just is blessed ! 

Most sincerely and deeply, as you well know, do I 
sympathize with my dear friend, Mrs. Haskell, with 
Hannah, with you all. In your affliction I am truly 
afflicted. I cannot promise myself the melancholy satis- 
faction of being with you, in person, to-morrow. In 
spirit, if so permitted, I shall indeed be there. 

I have said that I sympathize with you in your affliction. 
Do I not sympathize with you in your joy, in the remem- 
brance of those qualities which rendered him so dear and 
valuable to us, and in the assurance of the felicity un- 
speakable, immortal, of which he is now a partaker? 

Whilst by faith we mingle our spirits with the beloved 
departed, may we trace with our footsteps the upward 
path till we are witnesses and sharers in their joy ! 

In haste, but from the fulness of the heart, with much 
love to all. 

Your affectionate friend, 


ELMWOOD, Sept. 9, 1857. 
Tuesday Evening.